Nylon is a synthetic fabric made from petroleum products. It was developed in the 1930s as an alternative to silk. Since then, its purposes have gone far beyond fashion and it is a very important fabric in this world. It is valued for its light weight, its remarkable tensile strength, its durability and its resistance to damage. Nylon also absorbs dye easily. For these many attributes, it long ago crossed into the rope and cordage world as nylon cord.
Nylon cord is braided, which increases its strength. There is more than one kind of braiding, and the following are just a few. Solid braids are designed to maintain size and roundness by resisting rotation over pulleys and under loads. Depending on the size of the cord, they are manufactured on nine, twelve, eighteen or twenty strand braiders. Many solid braid cords are reinforced with strands of a synthetic fiber, which operates as a strength and durability increasing core. Diamond braids are constructed in a maypole over and under braid, in strands of eight, twelve or sixteen. Double braids are cords that contain both a braided core and a braided sheath.
Nylon cord is used in a number of industries. It is often used for various types of jewelry-making, such as bracelet making, macrame, micro-macrame, bead crochet. Nylon cord is especially useful in stringing antique beads with large holes. It also reaches specialized jewelry markets, like Chinese and Japanese ornamental knotting, where braided nylon cord is used and called Chinese knotting cord. It is similarly used in kumihimo, a Japanese form of braid-making. In kumihimo, cords and ribbons are made by interlacing strands. Outside of the jewelry world, nylon has use in climbing, boating, furniture and other industries. Nylon cord can be used to hand stitch detailing on upholstery. With its high levels of elasticity and elongation and its excellent shock-load absorption ability, nylon cord works well as dynamic rope. In the boating industry, nylon cord is valued beyond its aforementioned attributes. In addition to all that has been mentioned before, nylon cord is very resistant to rot, mildew and decay due to marine organisms. It also ages well when stored properly and resists UV damage and abrasion quite well. Along with its high melting point and ability to function in very low temperature situations, nylon cord is a welcome helper in many endeavors.
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