So you recently picked up a really awesome sword at the Renaissance festival, or maybe you have an heirloom weapon you trot out for special events. Either way, you know that wandering around out in public casually swinging sharp pieces of steel is generally frowned upon. You need a way to safely secure your blade without damaging that beautiful Damascus folded steel or meticulously embroidered scabbard. Enter the peace tie – an elegant yet pragmatic solution for transporting your trusty sidearm around the countryside.
A Brief History of Peace Tying Swords
Believe it or not, peace tying blades has been around for centuries. Back in medieval times, nobles and knights were often required to restrain their weapons in the king’s court so as to avoid any uncouth duels marring up the fancy tapestries. Frayed nerves have led to impromptu sword fights over petty squabbles time and time again, so they devised intricate knots that gave quarreling parties a chance to cool off before drawing steel.
According to legend, the infamous Gordian knot that stymied Alexander the Great was actually an early prototype design for peace tied swords! Nowadays, decorative sword knots recall the mythic origins of peace tying, using complex turk’s head or monkey’s fist knots more for showmanship than security. But make no mistake – those delicate looking knots secure a blade as well as any padlock.
Of course, the modern revival of peace tying is focused more on safety than minimizing property damage from brawls. With so many sharp objects swirling about, rules at Renaissance fairs mandate sturdy yet stylish peace ties for all weapons. So let’s look at some quick methods for securing your blade to safely enjoy the sights and sounds of a country faire.
Simple Yet Effective Sword Peace Tying
Peace tying a sword is actually very straightforward. All you need is a slender rope, thong, or strip of leather slightly longer than the circumference of your scabbard’s throat. Soft flexible paracord works great and comes in fun colors to match your garb.
Securing the Peace Tie
Start by locating the two most common tie points – the sword guard and scabbard strap. The sword guard (aka crossguard) is the steel bar perpendicular to the grip that stops your hand from sliding onto the blade. Scabbard straps secure the sheathed blade to your belt.
For quick tying, simply loop your peace tie material around the guard or strap once or twice so it can’t slide off, then tie an overhand knot. You can then secure the loose ends with a bow knot or half hitch. Just be sure to leave enough slack so the sword can be drawn part way safely.
Extra Security with Braiding
If you really want to emulate those mystical Celtic warriors, get fancy with a turk’s head knot. These braided rope knots have an interwoven pattern that constricts when tension is applied, making them very hard to untie quickly. Fun variations like the monkey’s fist and Solomon bar add intriguing texture.
Just remember the key is creating a temporary impediment to drawing the blade, not an unbreakable bond. No matter how elaborate your knot, make sure it can be easily cut off in an emergency if needed.
Types of Blades To Peace Tie
While medieval broadswords are the quintessential peace tie targets, just about any bladed weapon can benefit from proper securing. Daggers, spears, axes – you name it. Folding pocket knives can be peace tied closed to prevent accidental opening.
Peace tying triggers on firearm holsters is also increasingly common on movie sets. So whether you’re into Game of Thrones cosplay or frontiersman reinactments, peace ties help transport gear safely.
Peace Tying Knives
Let’s look closer at peace tying methods for knives and daggers, since the principles transfer between many blade types. Fixed blade knives are easiest, with the shoulder of the handle or sheath providing good anchor points.
For pocket or folding knives, use thin cord to tie along the backspring and blade tang to prevent accidental opening. You can fashion decorative clove hitch knots with the right color paracord that looks quite striking.
Just take care that any true “peace knot” for a knife allows easy cutting in emergencies. Complex turk’s heads defeats the purpose on a pocket knife intended for regular utility.
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Renaissance Fair Rules and Regulations
Since Renaissance festivals provided the impetus for modern peace tying revival, it helps to review common rules around securing weapons. Most fairs mandate peace ties as a condition of entry for any real weapons, both for liability reasons and authentic ambiance.
Peace ties may be checked at the gate, or you can visit a designated knot tying station just inside to get strapped and approved. Staff can provide temporary generic ties, or apply plastic zip ties over your artfully braided ropework to meet insurance requirements. Just don’t be surprised if they snip those lovely monkey’s fist knots off at day’s end!
Of course performance troops and reenactors are granted some leeway, but public safety is still the priority. No matter how thrilling the staged sword fight, blades get re-tied before mingling with patrons again. Only in specifically designated sparring rings or theatrical stages can peace ties come fully off during a faire.
Helpful Tips for Enjoying a Peace Tied Fair
Getting your blade certified peace tied by the weapon master saves hassle at the front gate. Search out craftspeople demonstrating intricate knots for ideas. Transport peace tied swords in a case until ready to have them checked. Above all, stay in garb areas with other cosplayers if actively wearing real steel. Most important, have fun roleplaying those gallant knights of ages past!
Caring for Your Peace Tied Blade
Any solid tying method still allows plenty of visibility to monitor your blade for dangerous rust or cracks that warrant repairs. Grip coverings often survive repeated re-tying as well, though snug cord may slowly abrade leather or cord wrappings over time.
Occasional stain removal and oiling maintains attachments like scabbard straps and grip wires long term. Just be sure to test cleaning products in an inconspicuous spot first if dealing with antique or untreated leather. When peace tied 24/7, blades see less handling but still require proper storage and care.
The symbology of a tied sword runs deep for many warriors. Much like the fabled Gordian knot, your personal peace tie style broadcasts temperance and self-control…or pure orneriness if you favor those impossibly interlaced turk’s head knots! Either way, a peace tie means your sword stands ready to serve while secured safely in its scabbard.
Peace tying a sword takes an elaborate legend spanning centuries and distills it into a practical transportation solution. Getting the hang (or knot) of decorative bindings around lethal weapons prevents injuries in crowded public events without destroying cherished blades. So whether you need to wrangle a fine antique foil or just keep the kids from grabbing random Renaissance fair weaponry, peace ties let you carry blades safely and legally. Embrace the storied tradition of fancy sword knots, but don’t be afraid to get creative with paracord – functionality beats form every time.