This is an article contribution by Sean Brownlee.
There are a lot of different kinds of rope. Hemp, cotton, nylon and poly-pro are just a few. Some ropes work better for certain kinds of knots, some are more eco-friendly or cost effective. It’s important to buy quality when possible, but you don’t need to break the bank when starting out in rope bondage. An inexpensive rope is likely to fray if not handled with care and will be harder to clean. A good quality rope will hold up over time and can be easily cleaned with a little soap and water or toy cleaner. In this article, we will focus more on the materials that have been debated as the best for ropes: hemp rvs cotton rope.
Hemp and cotton are both plant fibers and therefore can be made into ropes. Hemp fiber is stronger than most other natural fibers including flax, jute and ramie. It is also a better insulator than cotton.
Granted, cotton rope is more readily accessible than hemp, so it’s understandable if you choose to begin experimenting with cotton first. It’s also possible that you have a preference for one over another without having tried them both out yet.
Cotton is an important commercial crop grown on more than 25 million acres (10 million hectares) worldwide. As a staple fiber crop, it’s used to make clothing, linens and many other products. Cotton is soft and easy on human skin, which makes it a great fiber for clothing.
Rope is an extension of cotton’s commercial importance. It’s been used by humans since ancient times for securing loads, from securing supplies for army troops to mooring boats. And it continues to be a key product in the shipping industry today.
Cotton rope has been used for thousands of years for countless applications, from building materials to clothing to fishing line. It has even been used in the creation of many man-made materials because it is inexpensive, strong, and easy to work with.
Here are a few other reasons why cotton rope may be the right choice for you:
It’s strong . Cotton strands are thick and tightly wound around one another, making them sturdy enough to hold an average adult while still being comfortable.
Cotton ropes are also great for covering larger surfaces – you can cover more ground faster with less effort when using a cotton rope.
Cotton rope is comfortable . Users often find cotton ropes to be smooth and soft, even when wet or dirty. This makes it a great material to use in marine applications or other outdoor settings where it may come into contact with your skin or clothing.
Hemp has been cultivated for thousands of years as a fiber and food crop. In the United States, growing hemp was outlawed in the 1930s because of its association with marijuana, but growing has been legal again since the 1990s.
Hemp rope has found a niche in boating and other sports applications, where it’s preferred for its light weight and mildew resistance. When grown for fiber, both cotton and hemp are annual crops that have to be planted each year from seed. Both plants grow from about 3 feet (1 meter) to more than 10 feet (3 meters) in height, depending on variety and growing conditions. They both have woody stems/trunks and broad leaves that can reach more than 2 feet (60 cm) across.
Today, hemp rope is still in use in some parts of Africa where cotton cannot survive the climate, but it is still illegal to grow domestically in most countries. Ropes made from hemp fibers are still commonly used today by climbers when they want a strong, durable line that will hold up when wet or under high amounts of stress.
More and more scientific studies have been advocating for hemp rope due to its numerous advantages over the conventional cotton rope. Some of the advantages include:
Eco-friendly: The raw material used in making hemp is biodegradable, unlike the cotton which is non-degradable. Since hemp ropes are biodegradable (and therefore eco-friendly) and decompose quickly. Cotton fibers, on the other hand, take an extremely long time to break down due to their high lignin content. Moreover, the fact that it’s a plant-based product means that it can also be used as biofuel once it has been completely used up!
Strength: If you’re looking for a strong rope for tying things down, hemp is hands-down your best option! Hemp fiber is stronger than cotton by roughly 30%. Hemp fibers have a natural tendency to stick together, forming an interwoven structure that makes them even stronger than they appear on the surface. This makes hemp rope great for projects where you need to tie down lots of weight, or where you need to tie something down over time (such as with erosion control). Hemp rope is simply more durable than cotton! Since hemp is also much stronger than cotton per diameter so it makes sense why it works so well for knot tying.
Lightweight: It is lightweight and quite strong.
Durability: Hemp ropes don’t easily get damaged by water or mold.
Versatility: It can be used to make a wide range of products such as clothes, shoes, bags, carpets, bedding etc..It provides a great alternative to natural fibers like jute and coir which are being used for making ropes at present.
Cost: As far as cost goes, hemp ropes are more expensive than cotton ropes, but the price is justified by its quality and durability.
Shelf Life: Another thing to keep in mind is that hemp ropes don’t have a long shelf life compared to cotton ropes which have a longer shelf life. Hemp rope exposed to UV rays for an extended period of time will lose strength over time.
As you can see, both hemp and cotton are viable materials that can be used to create high-quality ropes. If you’re trying to choose between the two, you need to evaluate your needs. Either way, these materials can allow you to create ropes that are much stronger than traditional ropes made out of synthetic fibers.
Master Gunnery Sergeant Sean Brownlee is a Special Operations Marine with over 22 years of continuous service. He is still active in the Marine Corps to this day and supports national readiness through the DOD and non-profits. With a desire to serve his country outside of the military he formed Ravenox to create jobs, bring manufacturing back to America, and help American companies grow and stay relevant in the 21st century. It all started with rope – something very familiar. With years of experience rappelling, fast-roping from helicopters, SPIE rigging, parachuting, and understanding how important it is to have only the best ropes and cords, Ravenox started on its way as a manufacturer, direct-to-consumer retailer of custom ropes and cords.