Last Updated on: 31st March 2023, 11:35 am
Have you ever thought about how a climbing rope is made? Have you ever seen the core of a climbing rope or played with the sheath and wondered what function those different parts serve? The video below—from the TV series How It’s Made—was filmed at the New England Ropes factory.
Note: The climbing rope portion goes up through 2:43. After that, the video covers marine ropes.
To make a climbing rope, three individual nylon strands are twisted together to form thicker yarn, and these pieces of yarn are used to create the white core of the rope. For the rope’s sheath, dozens of spools of nylon fiber unwind are twisted together to form colored yarn.
As several (roughly a dozen) strands of the thicker white yarn are brought together to form the core, strands of the colored sheath yarn are wound and braided around the series of white core fibers.
It’s the twisted nature of the core fibers that give dynamic climbing ropes the stretch that enables them to softly catch climbers’ falls (and keep us from getting whiplash or worse).
And in the video below, an employee from Sterling Rope walks us through the rope creation process on Sterling’s factory floor. Their process is similar to the New England Ropes process.
[Photo taken from the video]