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Commercial and Domestic Rope

We stock a wide range of rope for commercial and domestic applications. Our ropes are available by the coil or can be cut to custom length and can also be spliced. For more bespoke requirements, please get in touch.


Looking for a rope that floats? Want to know which type of rope is better suited to outdoor applications? Or perhaps you’re wondering which of our ropes is the strongest?

Unless you’re a rope specialist, we’d be surprised if you didn’t have the odd question. To get you started, we’ve collated some of the most frequently asked questions and answered them below.

Detailed product information can also be found on the individual product pages or in the Buying Advice section of this site.

Rope Types & Construction


  • biodegradable and environmentally friendly
  • good natural resistance to UV
  • very poor resistance to rot and mildew
  • lower strength than synthetic ropes, used for lightweight applications
  • better grip
  • will shrink when wet
  • do not melt, instead they char
  • should be stored in a dry environment
  • often more generous in size and can vary from batch to batch. Some may have a slightly larger diameter than stated



  • will not decompose naturally over time
  • around 30% longer lifespan than natural fibre ropes
  • moderate to high UV resistance
  • water, rot and mildew resistant
  • stronger than natural fibre ropes, certain synthetics used for lifting, mooring, winching
  • generally higher elasticity
  • lightweight
  • do not shrink when wet
  • melt when exposed to heat
  • can be stored wet or dry

Twisted 3-strand is a traditional rope construction also known as Laid Rope, which consists of three equally sized strands (made up of yarn) twisted together to produce rope. It is easy to splice and is available in almost all types of rope including synthetic and natural fibre variations.


Nylon. It’s strength, excellent shock absorbency and high stretch makes it a preferred rope for applications such as lifting, mooring, towing, winching.

In addition we also stock Polysteel and Polyester – two very strong, durable ropes with very high resistance to UV, abrasion and rot, without the elasticity you get with Nylon.

Manila although it is still approximately half the strength of comparable synthetic ropes.

Break loads and Safe Working Loads

A rope’s break load or minimum breaking strength, is the optimal strength achieved on a new rope being pulled at a slow and steady speed, in a straight line, under lab conditions.

The safe working load takes into account all the factors that may affect a new rope’s behaviour, as well as the degree of risk to life and property involved. It is always much lower than the breaking load. Examples of factors include: exposure to UV and chemicals; dynamic loading; reduction in strength due to splicing, knots, sheaves etc.

It’s the responsibility of the end user to determine the appropriate Safe Working Load after considering all the risks, the strength reducing factors, and the expected life of the rope.

Outdoor Suitability

In general, synthetic ropes because of their resistance to environmental factors such as rot, mildew, UV and chemicals.

Natural fibre ropes on the other hand tend to have good UV resistance but are biodegradable. This makes them susceptible to mildew and rot.

Yes. You could try a clear timber decking oil or preservative.

All ropes will be affected by UV light over time. It’s difficult to predict the resistance of any one rope as the length and intensity of the exposure to UV will be key factors.

The ropes with the highest UV resistance that we stock are: Polysteel, Polyester, Nylon, Synthetic Hemp, Manila, Jute, Sisal, Cotton

This depends on a range of factors which include:

  • Rope application and usage e.g. load bearing, dynamic loading
  • exposure and resistance to UV, rot, mildew and chemicals
  • type of rope – natural or synthetic
  • rope care and storage
  • rope age and condition


Because of this, it’s impossible to predict lifespan, however, it may help to keep in mind the following as a guide:

  • all natural ropes will succumb to rot and mildew and should be stored dry and in a dry environment. If you can, you should treat them for outdoor use too
  • because only the outer fibres of rope are exposed to the full intensity of UV rays, larger diameter ropes tend to last longer
  • Manila has a natural resistance to UV and is hardy. It has been known to last 8-10 years
  • Hemp has a much shorter lifespan – around 1 year
  • synthetic fibres are designed to better withstand the effects of UV, water, rot and mildew. Polysteel and Polyester have excellent UV, rot and mildew resistance
  • Synthetic Hemp which is made from UV-treated Polypropylene can give approx. 5-8 years depending on application, but will eventually flake and need replacing

Performance in Water

  • Polypropylene – low cost, lightweight, general purpose floating rope, used extensively in the marine industry
  • Polysteel (excluding Leaded Polysteel which sinks over time) – very strong with excellent UV resistance, used in commercial fishing
  • Polyethylene – not as strong as Polypropylene, but has better UV resistance and is commonly used in the fishing industry
  • Synthetic Hemp – looks like natural hemp but is water, rot and mildew resistant. Made from a Polypropylene base
  • White Staple Spun – high grade general purpose rope with a hairy surface for good grip and handling

Natural ropes such as Manila, Sisal, Jute, Hemp and Cotton will absorb up to 100% of water and therefore do not float.

Nylon and Polyester will also both sink.

Nylon will absorb somewhere between 2% – 8% of water and can also lose up to 20% of its strength. Polyester, on the other hand, retains its strength when wet and does not absorb water.

Synthetic ropes such as Nylon, Polyester, Polyesteel, Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Synthetic Hemp and Staple Spun are suitable for wet environments as they are resistant to rot and mildew.

Only natural ropes shrink when wet, synthetic ropes do not.

The following will shrink: Manila, Sisal, Hemp, Jute, Cotton

These won’t: Nylon, Polysteel, Synthetic Hemp, Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polyester, Staple Spun

When natural fibres come into contact with water including dew and humidity, the fibres absorb the water causing them to swell. This expansion in width then causes the length of the rope to shrink.

The extent to which a rope will shrink is determined by how wet the rope is and which type of natural rope is being used e.g.: Manila, Sisal etc. As a general guide, we recommend adding between 10-20% to your measurements.

Before using it, you can try immersing the rope in water and then letting it fully dry.

Alternatively, place the rope in situ without securing it, and leave for several days allowing the shrinkage to occur naturally.

Stretch / Elasticity

  • Nylon offers a high level of elastic stretch and shock absorbency making it a clear choice for dynamic load applications such as mooring and towing. If broken when in use however, note that it will recoil with a great amount of stored energy and may cause injury.


Cotton is the softest of the natural ropes. It is commonly used for decorative projects, handrails, play areas and other applications that require handling of the rope.

Sisal and Manila are both good for grip but can be a bit rough on the hands and also dry them out if handled for a lengthy period of time.

Natural ropes such as Sisal however, can be softened using warm water and fabric softener.

Polypropylene is the most lightweight rope we sell, making it easy to handle and transport.

Other lightweight ropes include Floaty Polysteel, Polyethylene, Synthetic Hemp and Staple Spun.