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  • Writer's pictureSAURABHA JAIN

Rope Materials & Construction

Some ask, what is rope made out of?

Rope and cord can be made from many different natural and synthetic materials. These materials are either braided, twisted or plaited together. Each material has its own unique benefits.

  • Polyester: Synthetic material that is UV-resistant, abrasion-resistant and maintains its strength when wet. Usually pre-stretched. Good choice for general purpose rope.

  • Polypropylene: Lightweight synthetic material that is resistant to mold, mildew and many chemicals. Floats in water. Has low resistance to UV rays and abrasion.

  • Nylon: Synthetic material that is both flexible and strong. UV-resistant and abrasion-resistant. Weakens in water and does not float.

  • Kevlar: Extremely strong synthetic material that is resistant to fire, extreme temperatures, stretch, water and chemicals. Has low UV resistance, so it is often covered with polyester.

  • Sisal: A natural fiber used for making twine, paper, cloth, carpets and more. Sustainable and biodegradable. Low water resistance and abrasion resistance. Prone to mildew.

  • Manila: A natural fiber that is very stretch-resistant and holds knots well. Sustainable and biodegradable. Like sisal, it has low water and abrasion resistance and can be prone to mildew.

  • Coir: A natural fiber made from coconut husks. Sustainable and biodegradable. Used in many gardening applications.

Rope Construction:

Rope construction helps determine its strength and best use. Below are the common types of rope braids and constructions:

  • Single braided: Also known as solid braid. Features lock-stitch construction and is well suited for use with blocks and pulleys.

  • Double braided: Features braided rope wrapped around a braided core to provide extra strength.

  • Hollow: Features an empty center and can be quickly and easily spliced. Ideal for water ski tows and anchor lines.

  • Twisted: Also known as laid rope. Can be easily spliced. Most commonly used type for general applications such as tow ropes and dock lines.

  • Diamond braided: Features an inner core that provides additional strength or allows for filler to increase the diameter. Can be easily spliced.

  • Plaited: Features four sets of strands that are intertwined together around the core.

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