|Manila & Sisal|
Rope was first fashioned from twisting strips of lime bark, this promptly progressed to utilizing plant fibres such as flax, water reeds and vines, animal hair and leather were also frequently used to create rope. Ropes have been around for 20,000 years and have been observed in cave paintings to confirm this, also samples of Egyptian and roman rope are available in museums.
Natural fibre rope is still available today, however are in no way like the early ropes. The most frequent fibres used in the assembly of natural fibre ropes are sisal, cotton, jute and manila. The fibres are twisted or braided together to produce strong and flexible rope, these fibres are in addition used to produce twines, string and cords.
Most of these natural ropes are usually available in thicknesses from 2mm up to 40mm and in short to very long length.
Manila rope – my favourite
Manila is the natural fibre rope for general outdoor use. It has wonderful smell of docks, harbours and all things boaty.
It is made from the fibres of the manila hemp plant, (the Albaca, not true hemp) which is related to the banana plant but with inedible fruit. Manila is salt resilient its rope is often used within the nautical industry, but also farms, decking and stair ropes and construction industries. Manila loves being outdoor, it takes on water and swells. Making it very strong, it can last up to 10 years and makes an hardy doormat.
|Sisal Bowl Fillers|
Sisal is very similar in texture to Manila rope except that it is generally much lighter in colour. It is formed from fibres belonging to the foliage on the Agave plant. Sisal is a durable fibre and has some stretch qualities, sisal is also resistant to salt water. Though sisal won’t survive as long as manila. It is lighter in colour, and is often used for crafts.
Hemp does not last that well outdoors. Hemp is best used indoors. Natural hemp has a very strong odour, not of docks, but more like a farm and needs to be aired before use, Hemp is a very soft rope that is naturally a greyish colour.
Cotton is often used in handicraft type work, packaging, picture hanging, cord sashes etc.
Cotton rope is soft, smooth, stretchy, lightweight and flexible making it comfy to work with. The downside to cotton rope is that it is not resistant to any chemical, oil or water so it is going to be more restricted to the places where it can be used.
All the items in this blog can be found at my siteKarensRopeWork