The difference between Cord, String and Rope

What is the difference between Cord, String and Rope?

String is generally single-stranded, and is easily frayed. This works well for projects that will have a fringe, such as earrings or some wall hangings that you will “brush out”.   

Rope is generally used to refer to multiple strands twisted together. You will see this referred to as “3 ply twisted rope” or “4 strand twisted cotton”. This is more suitable to projects that need more strength (like a plant hanger). Another aspect of twisted rope is the wavy-like fringe it has when unwound. 

Cord is generally woven - you will see “braided cord” on many of the listings. One thing to keep in mind when using this type of macrame cord is that it may not be cotton - some braided cord is propylene (which is more suitable to outdoor projects). This cord is also much more difficult to unwind for creating a “fringe”.

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How do I choose the right macrame cord? 

Choosing the right macrame cord will depend on the macrame project you choose, and the style you would like. Our 3-ply twisted macrame cord is perfect for a project needing a little extra strength - like a plant hanger or macrame swing. Our single strand macrame cord is better for projects such as a wall hanging that will be combed out to make a boho fringe.

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What size cord should I use? 

Depending on what you would like to make, the rope sizes vary. The size will be listed in millimeters - and the higher the number, the thicker the cord. There’s everything from 0.5mm (which is very fine and used mostly for earrings or intricate detailing) to 8mm (which is very thick and makes a chunky style macrame) - those are the more common sizes, I’m sure you could find some outside this range. 

We suggest using a 3mm string for macrame earrings or keychains - the projects that are a bit more intricate and detailed. To make a macrame wall hanging, you will want to use a 4mm macrame cord - or even bigger. The bigger the size, the “chunkier” your macrame will look & the less knots you will have to make. The size of macrame cord needed to make a plant hanger really depends on your preferences - we like to use both 3mm cord & 4mm cord.

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How do I mix macrame cord in a project? 

There are some techniques to using different types & sizes of macrame cords in a project. Sometimes, thick string is added to a wall hanging using weaving techniques to create texture. Some of our favorite techniques to add texture to a wall hanging are the soumak weave and the tabby weave. 

You may also want to add a string of different color, and this can be achieved by using the rya knot (for a tassel effect) or by fiber wrapping (commonly seen in macrame rainbows). You can also add in colored filler cords, or use colored macrame string for a gathering knot.