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Chatham hemp

“Chatham Hemp” rope takes its name from our site and is still made on the Ropewalk for you today.

showing you the ropes

Chatham Hemp

Chatham Hemp used to be made from hemp found in the Sativa plant but is now made from the Flax plant, more commonly known as hemp or flax.

This 3 strand rope with its soft fibres and natural colour makes it the perfect choice for Stair Banisters and Barrier ropes. It is also a great choice for producing our dog toys and dog leads.

Our 4 strand Chatham Hemp is used as gymnasium ropes as friction burns are reduced.

Uses for Chatham Hemp

Stair Bannister

Dog Lead

Parrot Perch

Barrier Rope

Many of our products are available to trade and wholesale

Please contact us by phone on 01634 823890 or email us (link below) to set up a trade account or for further information.

Chatham Hemp Products

40mm, 44mm and 48mm are available on special request – there is a minimum order quantity of 10 metres for each of these size ropes.

Important: Make sure you buy the right diameter as rope swells.

Please call the office on 01634 823890 or email enquiries@master-ropemakers.co.uk for further information.

about chatham hemp

Chatham Hemp Rope is made using flax fibre which characteristics include great strength, fineness and durability make this the ideal fibre for our Chatham Hemp Rope. The fibre is stronger than cotton and also stronger when wet than dry.

Flax is an annual plant, which when fully grown reaches a height of 50 to 100 cms. When approaching maturity (after 70 to 100 days depending upon weather conditions), blue (vulgare) or white (album) flowers are produced depending on the variety. Generally speaking the blue flowered variety produces fine, good quality fibre whereas the white-flower plant produces stronger but coarser fibre. Flax is grown in wide areas of temperate and sub-tropical regions of both hemispheres. Flax fibre is obtained from the stems of the LINUM USITATISSIMUM plant, belonging to the LINACÆ family.

The use of flax for weaving into “linen” cloth dates back to Egyptian dynasties over four thousand years ago and from the latter part of the Middle Ages it became the most commonly used textile material in Europe. It was not until the early part of the nineteenth century that cotton began to challenge this premier position.

Today flax production for commercial textile purposes (it is also grown widely for its oil-yielding seed, especially in North America) is primarily in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Russia, Belo-Rus, Egypt and China

The strands of flax fibre are embedded longitudinally in the stalk of the plant, between the outer epidermis and the central woody tissue. The fibre, which is very high in cellulose, is extracted first by “retting” (rotting either by water or dew) and then by “scutching” the stalks.`The strands of flax fibre are embedded longitudinally in the stalk of the plant, between the outer epidermis and the central woody tissue. The fibre, which is very high in cellulose, is extracted first by “retting” (rotting either by water or dew) and then by “scutching” the stalks.

Following the process of retting, the straw is dried and then scutched, a process which by mechanical means breaks down the pith, or “boon”, and removes it as completely as possible from the fibre.

The use of flax for heavier grade purposes, such as canvas and towelling, has declined in recent times and its main use now is for finer fabric yarns (including blending with wool and synthetic materials). Lower grades are also used in the paper industry (largely for cigarette paper manufacture) and, in a chopped form, in the automobile industry and for insulation purposes

`There is not a standardized grading system. Sales are effected based on samples delivered from each annual crop. There are, however, accepted “high”, “medium” and “low” quality parameters.