It is not known when rope was invented, but it was used by most ancient civilizations. The first types of ropes were probably vines or other types of long plants. After a while, early men started to combine natural fibers to make the first true man made ropes.
The first ropes were made of materials such as cotton, hemp, water reed, etc. They proved extremely useful and versatile in pretty much every aspect of work in those times.
Centuries later, with the era of industrialization came, new materials were discovered and developed, with properties that performed better than old natural materials. New types of ropes were created as people came up with the idea of using new fibers for rope building. That’s how nylon rope was born.
Out of all the synthetic ropes, nylon rope is by far the most common one. It has several qualities that make it more appropriate to most rope applications than other types of rope.
First of all, nylon rope is the strongest of all fiber ropes. The only thing that is stronger is wire rope, which is a metal rope, not a fiber rope, and it’s much more expensive, yet not as flexible as nylon rope. Because of this, it’s used in applications were both strength and flexibility are important, such as boating, fishing, farming, light towing, etc.
Another advantage of nylon rope is that it’s also very resistant to weather conditions. While iron rusts and natural fibers break down with water and temperature variations, nylon ropes keep their qualities under heating sun or freezing cold.
In addition to being strong and weather resistant, nylon rope is also very elastic. When subject to extreme tension, it will extend up to 46% of its size before breaking. This now only makes it flexible and adaptable, but it also gives plenty of warning to operators and users so they can stop the tension if they don’t want to stretch it to breaking point. Just a word of caution, if a nylon rope is stretched to such limits, it will continue to work normally, but it should be replaced if the application might result in an injury or damage to equipment if it should break.
Finally, nylon rope is just a bit denser than water, which means it will sink. This makes nylon rope very useful in water applications, since it won’t develop mold or any other form of life. It is particularly useful in anchor warping. Of course, it’s also great for handling the sails and pretty much any other boat application.