the Tools

the Toolsswirl_2

The rope making tools are still present in our Laboratory and we still use them today to spin the hemp during visits to the museum and the historical re-enactment.

Let’s see together our tools…


   It is a wooden column positioned at the entrance of the laboratory. The hemp fiber arrived in large square bales and looked like an already macerated and dry shrub that had been given a first partial break. Here the “Spaca Canevo” a person who broke hemp fibers for work, intervened and forcefully slammed the fibers against the wooden pole and the metal rods of the Croxe to complete the breakage of the fiber and prepare it for the next hairdo. It was hard and tiring work for the person who carried it out, so much so that the wooden pole still bears the marks of those processes.



Sgrànfio e Pettine da canevo

   Sgranfio (Scapecchiatoio) it was the tool used to eliminate the streaks, i.e. the fragments of the woody part of the hemp stalk. It had two different shapes: a rectangular one for the first processing, with a comb shape that eliminated the coarser part, and a second one that was used later for a second finer combing in the case of fabric threads or for more precious workings.




   They are the central device of the rope winding process; they are built from a series of wooden cylinders, sometimes made of metal, hollowed out by deep grooves, rotating around a pin fixed on a support firmly planted on the ground about one and a half meters from the Mòla. An iron semiarch is fixed on the face of each Bote∫éla, on which they are anchored, either the twine that must be twisted or, in different Bote∫éle, the three or four strings with which each rope is intertwined. The movement of the Bote∫éla is activated by a rope moved by the Mòla.




Space at least fifty meters long, located near the house where the ropes are worked, Here the threads are worked to obtain the ropes.



Arbùio, Ansin

  It’s a swivel hook attached to a handle that allows it to rotate. The ends of the strings of the rope being made are fixed on it. The Arbùio must keep the rope always tightly stretched so that the friction heats it, so it needs to be lubricated from time to time, and whoever supports it must still accompany the rope which intertwining tends to shorten (about two meters every fifty ).




  It is a kind of small bell made of solid wood, deeply furrowed on the outside by three or four recesses, in which the twine are housed as they are twisted. The use is to avoid contact with the hands of the rope during the twisting work.




  It is an iron wire weaving box, with a more or less dense net, similar to that of a mattress net; with it he smoothed the rope after it had been soaked overnight. It was used by crawling back and forth the box of smàja wrapped around the rope to eliminate the last few steaks. A cloth between smàja and rope helped not to hurt one’s hands given the slightly pointed nature of the net. A further definitive smoothing and polishing was done with a stretch of coarse rope rolled up and run around the rope to be smoothed.




   It is a large wheel fixed firmly to the ground, equipped with wings protruding laterally, which have the function of supporting the windings of the rope that sets the Bote∫éle in motion. The movement transmission rope is unique but continues to turn for all the Bote∫éle to be moved.






   La Sòga, or hemp rope, is made up of three or four strings woven together. To make the rope, the strings were first stretched along the Andio and fixed, at the terminal end to the Arbùio supported by a worker and, on the other end, to the different arch of Bote∫éle. They were then progressively twisted by the rotation of the Bote∫éle operated by the Mòla, which was moved by a second worker; a third worker held and managed the Cào, which distinguished the sections of the strings still separate from the Bote∫éle side, and the section of the rope already formed from the Arbùio side. The one who progressively scrolled the Càoverso le Bote∫éle gave the right compactness to the weave, knowing how to adjust the movement.

Types of rope:

  • bell rope (very large),
  • chariot rope (for the chariot, resistant to traction),
  • “cavesse” rope (which kept an animal tied by the head and was used to guide it, especially cows);
  • rope from there (to hang laundry),
  • rope from calves (for breeding),
  • “taja e liga” (size and alloy, small cords for use in the countryside)


– AA.VV. “LA SAPIENZA DEI NOSTRI PADRI – Vocabolario tecnico-storico del dialetto del territorio vicentino”, Accademia Olimpica Vicenza, 2002