Rope is a strong and thick line constructed of twisted natural or synthetic fibers.
Natural ropes are usually made of hemp, cotton, linen, manila hemp, and sisal. If you care about the environment, natural ropes are great choice for you since they are environmentally friendly, do not produce any chemical side product and the nature easily decompose them. Natural ropes are great for high temperature environments. They are not damaged by heat unless directly exposed to fire. Ropes made from natural fibers are ideal for packing since their knots are less prone to slipping and provide more security. Although natural ropes are strong but they are not as strong as synthetic ropes. They are susceptible to mildew, rot and degrade in contact with water, mold and UV light. Natural ropes shrink when wet and are very difficult to work with after drying, so they are not a good choice for high-moisture environments.
Synthetic ropes are significantly stronger than natural ones. They are more resistant to rotting, have a higher tensile strength and can float on water. But they also have some disadvantages: they are slippery and some of them can be easily damaged by UV light. Common synthetic fibers used for ropes are polypropylene, nylon, polyethylene, polyesters and acrylics (all are plastic-based).
Some ropes are made of a mixture of fibers and some are constructed of silk, wool or hair (although not generally available).
Nylon rope is stronger than polypropylene rope and has remarkable stretching capabilities. It has a smooth surface and is resistant to abrasion which make it ideal for winches and pulley systems. Nylon rope is resistant to UV light and chemicals.
Polyester rope is a very strong rope with excellent UV and abrasion resistance. It is not stretchy and does not float. Polyester rope has low creep under load, keeps its strength when wet and is insulating to electricity.
Polypropylene ropes are popular for their strength, low cost, versatility and color variation. Because of their ability to float on water, resistance to mildew and rot in moisture environments, they are widely used in water sports and marine industries.