Hemp Rope, Hemp Lines, Natural Fibres

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Before synthetic fibres had revolutionised and changed the face of rigging in boating and shipping, the primary cordage used for standing and running rigging on deck was hemp rope. Today, these distinctive ropes still exude a charm all of their own, and not only on traditional sailing ships. For those still taken aback by the elegance of this rope but would prefer not to forego the advantages of modern fibres, a good alternative is synthetic hemp rope. Whether braided or twisted rope, SVB can provide you with traditional hemp-look rope GLEISTEIN.

What is hemp rope?

- Hemp ropes made of natural fibres do have some advantages today! -

What is rigging made of hemp? Ropes made from industrial hemp, cotton or the leaf fibres of the banana tree (Manila hemp) characterised the image on sailing ships for centuries. Even today, classic rope made of natural fibre has several advantages compared to synthetic fibre: unlike many artificial materials, hemp rope has good grip even when wet and can be knotted easily. Twisted hemp cording also has impressively low elongation and is particularly durable. Furthermore, it feels comfortable to hold, is abrasion-resistant, environmentally friendly and widely appreciated as an ecological and renewable raw material.

In addition, the relatively coarse manila fibres have high tensile strength and are resistant to salt water. Due to its slightly oily fibre texture, traditional Manila rope is antistatic, water repellent and more weather-resistant than other natural fibre rope. The disadvantage of all natural fibres is that they rot over time, even if they are well cared for and always stored when dry. They also have a natural odour that never really goes away. Nevertheless, hemp rope is still used today, not only in sailing as mooring lines, but also in the home or garden, as well as in livestock farming and agriculture. There is also ongoing demand for natural fibre stair ropes and rope handrails for decking and it is still used in the manufacture of children's toys.

Polyhemp or natural hemp rope?

- Synthetic hemp rope is often a better choice instead of rope made with natural fibres -

Many manufacturers and roperies offer synthetic fibre, natural-look ropes made of polypropylene (PP). Compared to natural materials, these are robust and weather-resistant - the synthetic fibre combines technical reliability with a classic look. Beige-brown manila rope made of synthetic fibre, for example, is hard to distinguish from natural rope at first glance. If you want to buy traditional ropes, you'll find that artificial versions have almost exclusive advantages over the natural product. Polyfibre rope, for example, is pleasantly soft to the touch, excellent to splice and the ends can be sealed with a lighter. Polyhemp rope absorbs hardly any water, dries quickly and does not rot. It is UV-resistant, odourless and can easily be kept in good condition with simple cleaning agents when dirty. Hempex is generally cheaper than natural hemp and has a higher breaking load in comparison. Other plus points are that it does not shorten or decompose when exposed to constant wetness, which is why PP hemp rope is ideal for outdoor use. This includes not only as mooring lines or handrails in the recreational boating sector, but also for rope ladders, swings or climbing ropes, for example.

Related categories: Rigging, sails and accessories

You can find other relevant products in our Rigging and Sails and Accessories sections. More helpful information is in our Mooring Line Guide. Still don't know which rope you need? Find the right rope in our guide!

Customer ratings & reviews

All reviews (150.008)
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Liam M. on 23.02.2024

Delivered quickly and well packaged.

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Stuart K. on 23.02.2024


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Ovidiu D. on 23.02.2024

Thank you SVB for such prompt delivery in Romania!