Behind the rope work of Winslow Nautical is Deborah Rowan, a former tall-ship sailor and Maryland Historical Society volunteer. Rowan started making hemp rope mats after admiring how they looked in use on modern replicas of historical ships.
Rowan says, "For centuries, sailors have made thump mats from flat knots, or carrick bend knots, to protect the decks and rigging of sailing ships from wear and chafe. Creative sailors could also use strands of rope to make buttons in a pinch."
"Today, thump mats make useful trivets or decorative centerpieces. And, button knots tied with colorful paracord make attractive earrings. Monkey's Fist knots once used on heaving lines make durable key fobs when made with smaller rope."