Munter Friction

The friction has been pulled tight. The blue rope enters from the left, makes a Munter friction around the green rope, and exits to the right.

The Munter friction is a basic building block of rope bondage.

When to use it

The Munter friction is a great way to lock two lines together at their crossing point. Numerous popular rope harnesses consist of little more than a spiral of rope held together by Munter frictions. The spiral futomomo is a good example of the technique.

Step by step

A single green rope passes vertically through the frame. A blue rope enters from the left of the frame and crosses over the green rope. It then doubles back, crossing under the green rope below where it crossed over it.

1Go over the green rope and double back.

The blue rope crosses over itself, traveling upward.

2Cross over the standing part.

The blue rope crosses under the green rope, above the previous crossings.

3Go under the green rope.

The friction has been pulled tight. The blue rope enters from the left, makes a Munter friction around the green rope, and exits to the right.

4Snug the knot.

Open and Closed Munters

A green rope crosses the frame vertically. Two blue ropes enter from the left, make Munter frictions on the green rope, and exit to the right, both travelling horizontally. The upper Munter crosses itself moving upward, and the lower Munter crosses itself moving downward, making them mirror images of each other.

Up or down?

In step 1, you can double back above or below the standing part. Which way is better?

If the rope exits the Munter at 90°, either direction is fine. These Munters doubled back on opposite sides and both work well.

If the rope exits at an angle, you should double back on the side where the rope will exit.

A green rope crosses the frame vertically. A blue rope enters from the left and makes a Munter at the green rope before exiting downward at 45 degrees. This blue rope crosses over the green rope, comes back under the green rope but lower in the frame, then crosses over itself moving upward before going under the green rope again. The 45 degree exit means that the blue rope is pulled into the Munter, tightening it.

Correct: closed Munter

Here the rope exits the Munter in a downward direction, so we doubled back below the standing part.

The angle of the rope pulls it into the Munter, keeping everything tight and secure. We call this a closed Munter.

A green rope crosses the frame vertically. A blue rope enters from the left and makes a Munter at the green rope before exiting downward at 45 degrees. This blue rope crosses over the green rope, comes back under the green rope but higher in the frame, then crosses over itself moving downward before going under the green rope again. The 45 degree exit means that the blue rope is being pulled out of the Munter, loosening it.

Incorrect: open Munter

Here we incorrectly doubled back above the standing part.

The angle of the rope is pulling the Munter apart and making it less secure. We call this an open Munter.

Munter Variations

A green rope crosses the frame vertically. Two blue ropes enter from the left and make Munter frictions where they cross the green rope. The upper blue rope is a standard Munter that goes over the green rope, back under it, over itself, and under the green rope again. The lower blue rope makes an inverted Munter that goes under the green rope, back over it, under itself, and over the green rope again.

Inverted Munter

If you tie a Munter upside-down, you get an inverted Munter. Inverted Munters are often used to create pressure points.

Some people refer to the inverted Munter as a reverse Munter, but we find that confusing.

Top: a standard Munter
Bottom: an inverted Munter

Two green ropes cross the frame vertically. A blue rope enters from the left, making a standard Munter where it crosses the first green rope and a mirror Munter where it crosses the second one. The standard Munter goes over the green rope, under the green rope, over itself, and under the green rope. The mirror Munter goes under the green rope, over itself, under the green rope, over the green rope, and under itself. It is the mirror image of the first Munter.

Mirror Munter

For symmetry, you can tie a Munter backward. We refer to that as a mirror Munter.

The easiest way to tie a mirror Munter is to push a bight under the green rope and then go over the green rope and through the bight.

Left: a standard Munter
Right: a mirror Munter

Notes for nerds

References and naming

This knot is ABOK # 1818 (Crossing Hitch)

Riggers commonly use the name Munter to refer to both Munter frictions and Munter hitches.

In Japanese-inspired bondage, a Munter friction is called a nodome.

Shin Nawakiri calls this a cross friction.

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© COPYRIGHT 2018-2022 FULL CIRCLE KINK LLC