Slow match or match cord is the slow-burning cord or twine fuze used by early gunpowder musketeers, artillerymen, and soldiers to ignite matchlock muskets, cannons, and petards.

Many formulas exist, providing varying burn rates. The predominant chemical used was potassium nitrate, although sodium nitrate, and lead(II) acetate also appear to have been used. Potassium nitrate, however, had an advantage over sodium nitrate, through being less likely to absorb atmospheric moisture.

How we make match

We hand make ours using Potassium Nitrate (KNO3), we get a more even burn by pre-soaking the cord in rain water for 24 hours. We then immerse the cord for another 24 hours in the KNO3 solution before fully drying. It’s not a slow process!

We use this ourselves in 17th re-enactments in the UK, mainly with the Sealed Knot.


We're away just now but we'll be back open for business soon

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