The making of rope fenders for boats, with a central core and a knotted cover.
|Status||Currently viable (see ‘Other information’ for further details)|
|Craft category||Textile; Plant fibre|
|Historic area of significance|
|Area currently practised|
|Origin in the UK|
|Current no. of professionals (main income)|
|Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
|Current no. of trainees|
|Current total no. serious amateur makers
|Current total no. of leisure makers
|Minimum no. of craftspeople required|
There are two types of fender making, the main differences being in the patterns of the fenders:
fenders for narrow boats and the inland waterways – the market is healthy and there are enough craftspeople, but not so many that there isn’t enough work to go round.
fenders for maritime boats – there are fewer people making maritime fenders, but the skills are essentially the same.
There are two main markets for rope fenders:
hire fleet boats
Issues affecting the viability of the craft
Craftspeople currently known
- Phil English, Staffordshire
Des Pawson, Ipswich
Get Knotted, Warwick
Black Pig Fenders, Spalding
- Pete Flockhart, Northamptonshire
- Laura at The Fender Boat
Eric Johns retired in 2017.
Status: Fender making is considered to be vulnerable but safe. While the numbers are relatively small, there are enough people doing it and making a living from it, and enough of a market for it to be healthy. While craftspeople may not be in their 20s, not everyone is over the age of 60.