Someone holding braided rope

Understanding braided rope constructions

Did you know, the way a braided rope is constructed will affect its performance?

Yes, they’re all from made from bundles of fibres, that are woven together in some way. But they come in a number of different braiding patterns and styles – and this style will significantly influence the rope’s overall properties and features (including its strength, durability, appearance etc.).

If you’re buying braided rope for the first time, it’s important to understand the differences. Here we take a look at the main braided rope constructions currently available at Paracords Direct.

 

The main 3 braided rope constructions

 

Single braided rope

Just as the name suggests, single braided ropes are made by weaving the rope fibres into one single braid. They’re typically hollow – therefore tend to be flatter than most other braided rope constructions – and, depending on the braid pattern used, they fall into one of two categories:

  1. Diamond braids

These are made from 8, 12, 16, 24 or 32 strands, which are braided into an ‘under and over’ pattern. Half of the strands are rotated in one direction, whilst the other half are rotated in the opposite direction. As a result, they are less likely to unravel during use and are relatively strong.

  1. Solid braids

These are usually made from 9, 12 or 18 strands (depending on the size of the rope) and are woven into a complex lock-stitch pattern. All strands rotate in the same direction and, as a result, they demonstrate very little stretch. Yet they’re generally not as strong as diamond braids.

 

Double braided ropes

Double braided ropes also do what they say on the tin.

They’re constructed by covering a single braid with a second hollow braid. Essentially, it’s just one rope sat inside another. Which is why it’s sometimes called the ‘braid-on-braid’ construction.

One of the main benefits of a double braided rope is strength. The braids share the load and, as a result, can handle much greater weights. However, it’s important to note, caution must be taken if they’re run over pulleys or through hardware. The outer braid can sometimes slide along the inner braid and bunch up. This is known as ‘milking’ and will cause a significant reduction in strength.

Double braided ropes are also known for being flexible, soft to touch and easy to splice.

 

Kernmantle ropes

Kernmantle rope (taken from the German words kern, meaning ‘core’, and mantle, meaning ‘sheath’) is constructed with an interior core – that is protected by a braided outer cover.

The core may contain strands of fibre that lie parallel or strands that are twisted into little bundles. But either way, it is designed to bear the full load and optimise the strength of the rope. The outer sheath is mainly there to protect the core against abrasion, corrosion, wear and tear, and UV rays. As a result, this particular braided rope construction offers exceptional levels of strength and durability.

Examples of the different braided rope constructions available

Choose your braided rope construction today

Here at Paracords Direct, we have a comprehensive selection of braided ropes for you to choose from – including some with a single braid, double braid and kernmantle construction. So, whatever your preferences, requirements (or budget!), you’re bound to find the perfect product.

The right cord for you will, ultimately, depend on how you intend to use it. But if you’re struggling to choose, remember, we’re always here to help. Our team have excellent knowledge of both the products available and the unique properties associated with each braided rope construction.

Therefore, if you have a question – or would like a little tailored advice on the best rope for your needs – feel free to get in touch. You can either give us a call on 01692 668996 or send an email to info@paracordsdirect.co.uk and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.

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