How to Preserve a Natural Rope

Written by sarah coennen
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How to Preserve a Natural Rope
Hemp rope is used for making ropes for sailboat ropes and canvas for the sails. (Inti St. Clair/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Natural ropes are typically made from hemp. Hemp is an eco-friendly material, and preserving your natural hemp rope is not all that difficult, and you can still keep it eco-friendly. Hemp has been grown all over the world for the past 12,000 years for many reasons, including manufacturing fibre and food. In fact, some of the most influential names in US history have owned hemp mills that created paper and other textiles, such as rope and canvas sails for ships.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rope stretcher
  • Washing machine
  • Jojoba extract
  • Rubber or latex gloves
  • Natural wax

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  1. 1

    Set up the rope stretcher in a place where it will not be exposed to damp or extremely cold weather.

  2. 2

    Wash the natural rope on the gentle cycle in the washing machine. This will remove any dirt, dust and other debris that may be caught in the fibres.

  3. 3

    Spread the rope out on the rope stretcher. Allow the rope to dry for at least 24 hours. It is imperative that you allow the rope to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

  4. 4

    Cover your hands with latex or rubber gloves. Pour some jojoba extract into your hands and get the gloves coated well.

  5. 5

    Rub your hands over the stretch of the natural rope. Reapply the jojoba extract as needed until the rope is coated in a thin layer of jojoba. Allow the jojoba to dry completely on the rope, while the rope is still stretched on the rope stretcher.

  6. 6

    Apply a natural wax, such as beeswax to the ends of the natural rope to help avoid fraying and splintering of the rope.

Tips and warnings

  • Failure to use a rope stretcher can result in the natural fibres shrivelling, making the rope shorter and incongruent.

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