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5 Ways YOU can use hemp ROPE to save the earth

Assortment of hemp ropes
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I’m excited about hemp rope, aren’t you?

There are so many wonderful uses, in construction and shipping, home and gardening, and not to be left out, home decor. There are enough reasons for everyone to be excited about it. And maybe the best reason…it doesn’t shed plastics into the environment.

Thousands Of Years Of History

Close your eyes for a few seconds, listen to the sounds of waves lapping against a ship’s hull. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the cables of long hemp rope unwinding, the clinking of metal and blocks as the long braids are pulled through pulleys while the sails of a ship are set to.

Without miles of rope, that ship isn’t going to make it to port.

Hemp has been cultivated for various uses for thousands of years and rope was one of the first, if not the first, product made from it. Despite all of our technological advances, the humble rope is still a necessity of life.

Hemp was used for rope to pull massive loads

Plaited and twisted strands of rope have been used for millennia in numerous places for pulling loads of rock, or fish from the sea, and drawing buckets of water up from deep wells.

The Pyramids

pyramids 2371501 1280

Writings have been found suggesting hemp rope was used for pulling the large sections of rock used to build pyramids and other structures in Egypt. Thousands of men and draft animals were employed to pull these rocks or other structures to their final destination. Originally the Egyptians relied on reed, flax, or other fibrous plants to make ropes, and then they discovered hemp.

Hemp rope had advantages over other materials in terms of strength, UV resistance, and water resistance. It was stronger and lasted longer, so could pull greater loads for longer distances.

Colonial Shipping

model ship

In the 1600s schooners were developed for speed to carry cargo for longer distances. The intricate many sailed vessels required miles of rope to manage these sails. One disadvantage of other natural fibers used for this rigging is sea water and air, which caused it to rot quicker.

It was discovered that hemp was more resistant to the splashing saltwater and sea air, making it last longer for ropes. As a result, larger ships were able to be built that could haul larger cargo loads.

In the 1700s, long buildings usually with just a floor and roof were built up to 300 yards long called Ropewalks. These straight, narrow wooden structures were used to lay out the lengths of fiber for twisting or braiding into rope.

Fishing Nets

Between 700 to 1000 AD, fishermen in England began to knot lengths of hemp rope into nets to be used in fishing. Originally they were a blend of hemp and nettles, another strong fiber.

These nets were strong and durable and were used for carrying the fishing haul as well as for catching the fish. Hemp nets were also used on land, one of the uses was in making rope bridges.

Hemp Rope

So, Why Do I Love Hemp Rope?

There are so many uses for this rope, what’s not to love? This unique product comes in many sizes and methods of manufacture. It is used in commercial industry, recreation, and home decor.

1. Environmental Impacts

The most important reason I love hemp rope is because it is so much better for the environment than other materials, including cotton. If we already lived more natural lives without all of the toxic materials that are damaging the planet, this reason might not make it to #1 status, I might even take it for granted. Unfortunately that isn’t the case and the synthetic ropes we rely on are contributing to micro-plastics pollution.

Plastic Pollution

Plastics don’t biodegrade and return to nature, but they do break down into micro-particles that are bringing a toxic condition to every aspect of life. It’s not just the landfills, that are overflowing with plastic bags and every other kind of plastic product imaginable. Now our air, oceans, water sources, and the very blood flowing through our veins contains micro-plastics.

The fish and animals we eat contain it, wells and bottled water contains it, our hearts and bodies contain it. This problem is making life on earth unsustainable and it’s time to turn back. We need to start using bio-degradable materials, appreciating them for their advantages, and letting go of the materialistic demand for cheap goods that pollute the environment forever. Our desire to have a life of ease compared to our ancestors is on the way to cutting that life out altogether.

Hemp Traders is the premier source of hemp rope, fabric, hurds and other fine hemp products. They sell both small retail amounts as well as bulk pricing for wholesalers.


Water Usage

Hemp is cultivated with half the water that cotton takes per acre, with no need for toxic chemical inputs. The rope made from hemp is strong, long-lasting, and bio-degrades back into the soil without polluting it.

There are many areas of the world, including in the United States, where clean water is in short supply and it’s getting progressively worse.


Cotton not only uses twice as much water as hemp during cultivation, it also requires far more chemical inputs in the form of chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. The end product of cotton also contains these chemicals, and we’re wearing it against our skin.

2. The Beauty of Sails

If you’ve ever been up close to a boat in full sail or a ship museum with its sails unfurled, you know the magnificence of the power of the wind. It powers expensive sailing yachts in annual races and lowly fishing vessels retrieving a catch. Sails have one thing in common, yards of rope.

Sailing Rope Materials

Most ropes used in sailing today are made of polyester or sometimes Polypropylene, which have replaced natural fibers for the past few decades. While there are certainly advantages to these materials in that they don’t rot as easy as natural fibers, they are contributing to plastics pollution.


At the time the switch to synthetic rope was made, nobody had ever heard of micro-plastics. The change even came before most people were aware of the landfill issues we have. A new material was invented that seemed to be a time-saver, making life more efficient, and allowing people to use things longer. It made ropes last longer so they didn’t need to be replaced as often.

What We Know Today

Now we know how all of these plastics are breaking down. It’s only been a few months since we started hearing about the problem of micro-plastics on both land and sea. We didn’t realize what was happening, but now that we do it’s time for people to start switching back to natural fibers. There might be advantages to synthetic materials, we all rely on them to a smaller or greater degree. But bit by bit, it’s imperative that we begin switching to natural materials.

The answer isn’t in the political process, lobbying or voting. The answer is in each individual who realizes there’s a problem starting with themselves and their own purchasing choices. And then influencing those around them, not through judgement or control, but through friendship and the appeal to something deeper inside all of us.

3. Our Furry Friends Love Rope Too

The love of rope isn’t limited to those of us who walk on two legs, our furry four-legged friends are fond of it too. I can give you two reasons why right off of the top of my head.

Chew Toys

Yes, our best friends love to show off their fangs with a nicely knotted piece of rope, and the strength of those hemp fibers are the perfect material to do just that. In addition, hemp is seldom grown with toxic pesticides making hemp a healthier option for Fido.

Sharpening Cat’s Claws

What’s the best way to protect your furniture from your feline family member? A hemp wrapped scratching post of course. It’s a mutually beneficial item, your friend is purrfectly satisfied and you get to have peace about your precious upholstered treasures.

Swinging Bird Perches

Let’s not leave out our beautiful feathered friends, they like rope too. It’s a perfect place to perch for a little swinging fun.

4. Sports and Recreation

Rope can be fun and can help us challenge our own limits and goals. There are a number of sports and games that require the use of a rope, and hemp rope would be ideal for environmental reasons.

*Just make sure you check that the rope you are using is in good condition and is strong enough for the activity you wish to use it for. Some applications might require additional treatment to the hemp rope surface.

Battle Rope
Elephant and hemp rope chew toy
Rope and wood bird bridge
Rope cat scratcher
CBD roll-on and bundle

A Short List of Recreational Activities Using Rope

  • Climbing and Repelling
  • *Battle Rope
  • Tug-of-War
  • Tree Swing
  • Zip Line

*New to battle rope? Check it out here.

Man Climbing a Rope
Battle Rope
adult on a zip line
Empty Tree Swing
Man and 2 children playing tug of war

5. Purely Decorative

Around the home hemp rope has become a very stylish commodity, being used in rustic, farmhouse, and nautical decor as well as others. In fact it lends itself to some very diverse possibilities.

Styles in the Home

  • Wall Trim
  • Hanging objects
  • Lighting Fixtures
  • Stools
  • Macrame
  • Vases
Outdoor Hanging Bed
hanging rope lamp
hempnatural wall mask
rare hemp rhino
hemp covered stool 1
rope toilet seat
SevenPoints CBD Relief Menthol Balm

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As you can see… there are limitless ways you can use hemp rope to replace synthetic ropes with natural material. These uses are already familiar to most people, but we’ve taken for granted and overlooked how much rope affects our daily lives. So today I am expressing my appreciation for the humble rope.

Do you have of other uses or ideas for hemp rope? Let me know in the comments below

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