On this blog we will attempt to divulge the history of rope and fiber, and the affect that it had on the development of the United States. We will be adding to this post from time to time.
12-4 From the beginning of history, hemp, (cannabis sativa), has been the preferred fiber for making rope in Europe. It is easy to grow, requires little attention, and yields long, strong fibers which are required to make good rope. ...... more to follow!
12-6 The only shortcoming of hemp fiber was that , since it came from the stalk of the plant, it was prone to rot if not treated. The treatment of choice was pine tar. After the fiber was spun into yarn, the yarns were dredged through a bath of pine tar. .... more to follow!
12-10 In 1830 the first bale of Manila yarn, (Abaca), arrived in Plymouth. It proved to make better rope than hemp. Since it came from the leaf, it was naturally water repellent and did not have to be tarred. Unfortunately the only place that it grew was the Philipines. The transportation cost to import it was prohibative. It was not used until the invention of the CLIPPER SHIPS!