VIDEO: Making Rope the Old-Fashioned Way

Author:
Publish date:
Screen Shot 2019-01-18 at 11.24.58 AM

Before there were high-tech fibers such as Kevlar and Vectran, shipbuilders relied on an all-natural solution for making ropes: hemp. Durable and rot-resistant, the material was often lightly tarred for further rot protection before dozens of individual strands were wound together to form a single length of rope.

This video shows shipwrights using a 100-year-old machine to make lengths of four-strand hemp rope. Once the material is placed on a ship or boat and given a purpose, it is referred to as line.