There are two types of fibers used in the construction of ropes and twines, natural and synthetic. The most common natural fibers used are Manila, Sisal, Jute, and Cotton, while synthetic fibers such as Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Nylon, and Polyester have become the most popular in today’s market.
- Manila rope was once the preferred choice in ropes before the synthetic fibers were developed. Manila ropes still maintain some advantages to synthetic fibers. It is not affected by heat and has excellent resistance to the sun’s UV (Ultraviolet) rays.
- Sisal fibers come from the Avave and Sisalana plants grown in some tropical countries. Sisal has many of the characteristics of manila but offers only 80% of its strength. It is more economical than manila and makes a good choice as a general purpose rope. It is commonly used as a tying twine.
- Jute is mainly used as a tying twine. It knots very well. Due to its short fibers, it does not have much strength.
- Cotton is a natural fiber, typically white in color. It is soft fiber, which makes it nice to handle. It also knots very well.
- Polypropylene & Polyethylene make a flexible and lightweight rope. They are rot-proof, resist oil, water, gasoline, and most chemicals. They are the only rope fibers that float. Available twisted or braided, they are the perfect economical choice as a general-purpose rope.
- Polyester is very strong and provides excellent abrasion resistance. Polyester stretches less than nylon, so it does not have the elasticity or shock-absorbing qualities that nylon does. It has good resistance to UV rays and resists rot, oil, gasoline, and most chemicals. It is very popular as a marine or industrial rope where stretch is not desired.
- Nylon is known for its elasticity and tremendous shock absorbing qualities. It has good abrasion resistance, is rot proof, resists oil, gasoline, and most chemicals. It has good resistance to UV rays. Nylon will last 4-5 times longer than natural fibers.