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10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE BUYING ROPE AND CORD

Posted by McKenzie Zacha on Sep 23rd 2019

1) Material & Structure: Materials used in rope and cord should match what you need for your next project and craft based on the material’s capabilities and structure. Some are stronger than others, such as our 550 cord, and some are made more for décor and inside use like our cotton rope.

  • Paracord is made with a nylon sheath and a kernmantle core
  • Micro and Nano cord are made out of nylon
  • Elastic cord is made out of a nylon braided sleeve with an elastic inner core
  • Shock cord is made out of a nylon jacket with a rubber core
  • Cotton rope is made out of 100% cotton
  • Hemp cord is made out of all-natural fibers

2) Size: With multiple size options in our categories, you are sure to find something that works for you whether you need a thicker rope for heavy duty projects and outdoor activities, or simple DIY and jewelry crafts. Finding the right size based off how much strength you need and the appearance you are trying to accomplish are important components in purchasing the best item for you.

  • Paracord comes in different diameter sizes depending on the type of cording ranging from 95 to 850 to Para-Max cord
  • Macro and Nano cord comes in diameter sizes between 0.75 – 1.18 millimeters
  • Elastic cord comes in diameter sizes of 1/16 and 1/32-inch
  • Shock cord comes in diameter sizes 1/2, 3/8, 5/16, 5/8, 1/8, 3/16, and 1/4 inch and 2.5-millimeter
  • Cotton rope comes in diameter sizes of 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, and 1-inch
  • Hemp cord comes in diameter sizes of 1, 2, and 3-millimeter

3) Use & Versatility: If you need something for a small craft or even multiple large projects, finding a product that is right for you can be difficult. Our paracord has endless options from making jewelry to using the inner strands for fishing line and dental floss. Shock and elastic cord are best used for securing objects and tying down bags, tarps, or other supplies. Cotton rope can be added to several crafts, giving them a soft and elegant look. Use cotton rope with macramé, knitting, knotting, and various décor projects or create various types of jewelry. Hemp cord is another amazing type of cord used when making jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, anklets, etc.) for more of a rustic or natural appearance.

4) Texture: Texture can provide a classic, simple, or uniquely accented appearance and also give a smooth, rough, or soft touch to jewelry, clothing, and other items. Paracord, micro, and nano have a smooth texture and material that slides and knots easily making it simple to weave or braid the cord into bracelets and more. For a soft texture, cotton rope is one of the best options for the job with the 100% natural cotton material giving a fun and comforting feel to a variety of projects.

5) Color: When decorating, designing, crafting, or using rope for industrial use, color can be important. Blend into nature for hunting, match décor for seasonal purposes, or choose vibrant colors that will make your masterpiece pop.

6) Stretch: Not all cord has high stretching capabilities. Paracord has a small stretch ability whereas elastic and shock cord have shock absorption and a 100% elongation meaning it can stretch to two times its length.

7) Resistance & Protection: If you want a rope that’s going to last a while for any project big or small, looking into how each cord holds up in different conditions is important. Some ropes last longer than others depending on the materials used.

  • Paracord, micro, nano, shock, and elastic cord are resistant to UV fade, mildew, and rot
  • Cotton rope is resistant to UV fade and abrasion
  • Cotton rope can be affected more easily by rot, mildew, and often wears out more rapidly than other synthetic cord

8) Real & Fake: Be aware of fake cording when making a purchase. One factor to look at when finding out whether or not cording is real, is seeing if the materials used to make the cord are correct. The materials listed under number one are the fibers that should be used when making the specified rope or cord and are a great identifier for telling if the it’s the real thing. Another way to tell is by looking at the different features involved in the cord such as stretch, resistance, and protective abilities. The name and details can also provide insight like paracord being identified as 550 paracord, mil-spec, or type III.

9) Strength: Kernmantle in paracord provides the strength while the sheath protects the cord. The number of strands found in the different sizes of paracord is what increases or decreases the minimum strength (breaking point) of the cord. For instance, 550 cord has a 40% stretch ability of the original length and has a minimum strength of 550 pounds. In most situations, buying a thicker cord will increase its strength. This is true for our shock, elastic, and cotton rope/cord.

10) Location: Whether you are using rope indoors or outdoors, you should be prepared to choose the correct rope to fit the conditions that come with it. Natural rope doesn’t have the durability to be used outdoors for a long amount of time, but they are biodegradable and eco-friendly. Natural rope includes cotton, hemp, and jute. Synthetic rope won’t break down from varying weather conditions and are designed with outdoor projects in mind. Ropes classified as synthetic include polypropylene, polyester, and nylon.