Knots/Caring for cordage

Cordage is often expensive, and may be difficult to replace. For all cordage, there are some things you can do to maximize its lifespan:

  • Protect cordage from rough treatment
  • Do not stand on cordage, especially synthetics
  • Keep cordage away from chemicals, oil, grease dirt and grit
  • Avoid extremes of cold or heat
  • Limit exposure to sunlight, even for UV-stable cordage
  • Thoroughly wash and rinse your cordage regularly
  • Keep natural fibre ropes dry
  • Only short lengths of non-production rope should be folded; everything else should be coiled.
  • Load-bearing cordage must be inspected regularly
    • Look for cut or frayed fibres, wrinkled or ruptured sheath, glazing/fusing from thermal friction
    • Even though the sheath is flawless, it may mask internal damage
  • Keep a log for load-bearing cordage
    • Cordage with a history of hard work, or severe shock-loading should be retired or downgraded
    • Base your cordage life cycle on the specifications and the specific applications. Ask your vendor for assistance, if necessary, or get training.