Structure & Material:
Made with a braided sheath of nylon, paracord has a smooth and almost soft texture while also having the ability to be flexible and somewhat elastic. The nylon material gives it a resistance to rot and mildew. Its strength is also reinforced due to the inner strands that make the core. Those inner strands provide the cord with more uses or can be removed to create a coreless piece of paracord for wire covers, shoelaces, and other items. One of the more common types of paracord is the Type III Commercial or 550 Paracord that includes 7 inner strands and has an approximate strength of 550 pounds.
Paracord was first introduced around the time of World War II as parachute cord because it was used as suspension lines for parachutes. Paratroopers soon realized that paracord could be used for many other applications and began using it to secure tarps, cargo, and tents. They even found benefits in the inner strands like using them for fishing lines, fixing fabric, or creating a trip line to be used as a warning when people or animals were close by.
After Paracord was available to civilians, it started showing up in retail and on websites where it gained popularity with its infinite amount of uses. In 1997, astronauts even used paracord to repair parts of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Now a variety of people use it in different ways. Outdoor sports and recreational people have more focus on the survival and emergency uses of paracord such as using it for medical uses like a tourniquet, securing items, replacing or fixing broken cord or straps, helping in rescues (i.e. someone falling into the water). This versatile cord can also be worn as a bracelet or other form of jewelry to support a favorite school or professional sports team. A charm can even be added for remembering an event or for showing aid to a specific cause like cancer awareness.
There are many sizes of paracord that all have their own uses and structure. From small (nano, micro, micro 90, 95 cord, 275 cord, 325 cord, 425 cord, and cali cord) to large paracord (650 cord, 750 cord, 850 cord, Dyna-X, Battle cord, and Para-Max) and of course the more common paracord, 550, falls in between the small and large sizes. You can find the diameter sizes, # of strands, and the strength of each cord on our Cord Size Comparison Chart. The smaller paracord sizes are great for crafting and small utility uses, while the larger paracord can be used for more heavy duty and outdoor uses.