Rope Making

A rope is a length of fibres, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pullling and connecting. It has tensile strength for pulling but is too flexible to use for work that requires rigid strength. Rope is thicker and stronger than single strands of cord, line, string or twine.

Common materials for rope include natural fibres such as hemp, linen, cotton, jute, and sisal. Synthetic fibres in use for rope-making include polypropylene, nylon, polyesters, and acrylics. Some ropes are constructed of mixtures of several fibres or use co-polymer fibres. Ropes have been constructed of materials such as silk, wool, and hair, but such ropes are not generally available.

Rope is of paramount importance in construction, seafaring, exploration, and sports and has been since prehistoric times. In order to fasten rope together, a large number of knots have been invented. Pulleys are used to redirect the pulling force of rope to another direction,and may be used to create mechanical advantage, allowing multiple strands of rope to share a load and multiply the force applied at the end of the rope. Winches and capstans are machines designed to pull ropes. The use of pulleys and ropes pulled by thousands of workers allowed the Egyptians to move the heavy stones required to build their monuments.

We have a rope machine at the museum and we use strands of polyethylene twisted together to make a strong and useful rope.