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Rope Guide: Pick by Their Function and Material

Nov. 09, 2021

By definition, rope is any thick, long cord made by twisting or braiding together hemp, sisal, nylon or other materials. There are many methods of making rope, some far superior to others. Likewise, certain materials are better suited for certain tasks. This is why it is so important to know how to choose a rope.


Rope materials


This is the best material for most rope purposes. It is very strong. It also has a lot of stretch, which means it can absorb shocks. It also doesn't get moldy. The disadvantages of nylon rope are that the material does not float, it loses strength when wet (about 15-25% of its strength!) ), and elasticity is not always desirable.


Natural fibers

Originally, rope was made from natural fibers such as hemp, and you can even make your own natural fiber rope from plants you find in survival situations. The main advantage of natural fibers is that they are inexpensive. However, they have some disadvantages, such as the tendency to rot, mold, wear and shrink when exposed to moisture. This cheap natural fiber rope is easily worn out.



Polyester is another synthetic rope material. It is almost as strong as nylon, but not as flexible.
Its main advantage over nylon is that it does not lose strength when wet, making it ideal for uses such as boat towing or anchors. The disadvantages of polyester as a rope material are that it can become slippery, can mildew, does not float, and can wear out when cut.


Acrylic is often used as a cheap alternative to nylon in braided ropes. In addition to being cheap, its other benefits are that it floats and is very lightweight. It doesn't stretch too much, which makes it suitable for certain uses - such as ski towing lines.
Follow BAILONG to find more materials and more types.

Polypropylene multifilament Double Braided Rope


Choosing a rope

Before you head to the hardware store or buy rope online, make sure you know what features to look for!
This is especially true when you are purchasing rope for survival or outdoor use. Since you'll be relying on this rope for lifelines, cleats, or any of the many other survival uses of rope, it's best to make sure you have a rope you can rely on. Here are the key qualities you should look for in a rope.


Tensile strength

This is the amount of force the rope can withstand before it breaks. Note that tensile strength usually refers to the static force the rope can withstand rather than the dynamic force. For example, if you need a rope for towing a car, then you would want a tow strap with a tensile strength of 20,000 pounds (not a real rope).



A heavier rope will be stronger than a lighter rope of the same material and construction. When trying to reduce the weight of your pack, you must balance the need for strength with the weight limitations of the rope.


Work Load

This is the maximum weight you can safely put on the rope. It is usually only a fraction of the tensile strength. The reason for this is because even lightweight objects exert a lot of force when they are in motion.


Yarn and strand count

Rope is made by twisting material into yarn and then twisting the yarn into strands. The size and strength of the rope will vary depending on the number of yarns and strands.



This is the amount of stretch in a rope. A rope with elasticity will absorb some shock. This is important for certain purposes, such as rock climbing. Or, think about how stretchy a bungee jump rope is. In contrast, for applications like rope drops, you need a rope that is not elastic.


rope for hanging clothes


What type of rope do you need to use? Please leave a comment and let us know. If you are wavering, please get professional advice from BAILONG.

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