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News

How to Learn to Weave Ropes?

17.12.2013

The tourists visiting the Cossack farmstead of the Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov get interested in an old machine for making ropes and cords, a prosak, restored by the museum craftsmen.

During the excursion about the farmstead the museum-workers tell the visitors about an old technique of making ropes, about the mechanism of the prosak and all additional devices. The prosak consists of a massive base frame, a large flywheel, spindles and a belting. Cranking the flywheel, through the belting, the foreman drives the spindles to which the strands are attached. While spinning, the spindle twists the strands into cords. And the cords are twisted into ropes. For straightening the yarns a directing cone is used. The resulting rope is wound onto a special drum. For convenience a strut rake is used.

Anyone can try the machine by himself and make sure that making a rope requires strength, skill and great care. Indeed, the well-known Russian expression “to get into prosak” (to get in a trouble”) now meaning “to get into stupid, ridiculous and absurd situation, primarily meant a real danger: when making a rope one should have been very careful lest his beard, hair, clothes or hand should get into the prosak machine.

A real opportunity to see the mechanism in action and to learn how to make ropes is provided at the holiday “Kruzhilin Toloki” held annually at the Cossack farmstead in September.

Tatiyana Nektova
Alexander Diyachenko