“Twisted 4-strand” means that the rope is made up of four bundles of fibres (strands) that are twisted around a “soul” (core), in this case hemp twine. Each strand consists of twisted long-fibre hemp fibres. These strands are twisted together to produce a natural rope that has a great raw feel, smells somewhat like a farmyard and one with which you can play tug-of-war without as much pain as is produced by synthetic fibre ropes – unless of course you end up on the wrong side of the marker (goal line)! There are, yes, polypropylene ropes that at first glance (touch!) are hard to distinguish from a real hemp rope but as soon as you smell them, you know!
Hemp is a natural material and naturally not as durable as a synthetic fibre rope. Hemp rope, it should be noted, is also not as resistant to the ravages of weather, absorbs much more water when exposed to it and rots a lot faster. It is therefore only with these limitations in mind that long-term outdoor use of hemp rope should be considered.
The resistance to breakage for the individual diameters are as follows:
- 6 mm 260 daN (deka-Newton)
- 10 mm 710 daN (deka-Newton)
- 16 mm 1780 daN (deka-Newton) (16 mm finished or treated segments: 1680 daN)
- 25 mm 3690 daN (deka-Newton)
A rule of thumb for these specifications is as follows: The bearing capacity of a rope given in kilograms is determined by combining the resistance to breaking with a security factor that is either higher or lower depending on the intended use. As a rule, it lies between 5 and 10. If you calculate using a security factor of 8, the resulting bearing capacity for a rope with a resistance to breakage of 100 deka-Newton will be 12.5 kg (100 divided by 8). This only applies to a static load and of course only to a new, undamaged rope.
We sell hemp ropes in running meters from a roll and as finished segments in bundles, whereby the ropes are in fact somewhat different. In the case of the segments, a visible green synthetic fibre thread runs through one of the braids; this represents that the rope conforms to the EN 1261 norms pertaining to hemp fibre ropes for general service.