Cordage, Rope, and Webbing Information

Cordage, Rope, and Webbing - Flat Braided Lacing TapeCordage, Rope, and Webbing - Woven Silica Rope, Sleeving and Tape  Cordage, Rope, and Webbing - Round Twisted Linen Lacing Cord

Image Credit: Daburn Electronics & Cable | Mid-Mountain Materials, Inc. | BRIM Electronics, Inc.


Cordage, rope, and webbing are made of many natural and/or synthetic fibers that are twisted and/or braided or woven into a length.


  • Cordage is a generic term that covers many different types of cords, lines, ropes, and strings.
  • Rope is used in material handling, shipping, construction, logging, and marine applications. Heat-insulating rope or braid may be used to provide a thermal seal around a door or other opening in a furnace wall.
  • Webbing is a textile product supplied as a woven ribbon, strapping, or tape. Webbing unravels when cut, a feature which distinguishes it from cordage and rope. Specifications for cordage, rope and webbing include materials of construction, dimensions, properties, applications, and structural features. 


Cordage, rope and webbing are often made of synthetic or polymer materials, natural fibers such as cotton and wool, and acetate and triacetate fibers. Choices for material type also include acrylic and modacrylic, aramid, elastomeric, nylon or polyamide, olefin or polyolefin, polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene, rayon, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Some cordage, rope and webbing are made of glass or fiberglass, ceramic, or metallic fibers. Others are made of blended fiber structures. Textile products made of leather, hemp, jute, linen, and flax are also available. 


Selection Criteria

Selecting cordage, rope, and webbing requires an analysis of dimensional specifications and material properties.



  • Overall thickness is measured with a gage that contains two flat cylinders for a relevant sample area and a spring-loaded mechanism for a consistent, applied pressure.
  • Overall width or outer diameter (OD) is the cut width of a roll of fabric or textile material.
  • Overall length is also an important dimension to consider.
  • Material properties for cordage, rope and webbing include use temperature and breaking strength or load.
  • Use temperature is the maximum temperature at which fibers can be used continuously, without the degradation of structural or other required end-use properties.
  • Breaking strength is the maximum tensile load or force that a rope, cord, webbing or fabric will hold before breaking. 

Structural Features

Structural features for cordage, rope, and webbing include:


  • Chemical or fuel resistance
  • Electrical conductivity
  • Electrical insulation

Some products are flame retardant, hydrophilic or absorbent, or UL Listed. Others provide acoustic insulation or thermal insulation. Cordage, rope and webbing that are designed to control static or electrostatic discharge (ESD) are also available. Typically, these products are used in electronics applications.



BS EN ISO 1968 - Fibre ropes and cordage - vocabulary


ISO 3505 - Ropes & cordage - equivalence between natural fibre


A-A-59467 - Webbing, textile, woven, polypropylene


ASTM D6770 - Standard test method for abrasion resistance of textile webbing



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