Ah, string. Or twine. Or thread or yarn or cord. Whatever we name it, when we need something to hold something else together we want the stuff but have you ever given much thought to what it is, how it’s manufactured, how they go about identifying the different weights? Well, if not, read on:
We’ll simply refer to the stuff in a roll that we use so often as twine. It is made from a selection of natural fibers and/or synthetic material in a wide array of combinations. Things like jute, cotton, hemp and flax are all made from natural fibers and available for purchase in either plain or with a wax coating that makes it easier to handle and work with (think about waxed twine that a butcher may use when holding pieces of a roast together). Un-coated silk and sisal, that scratchy stuff in a ball that has bits coming out of it at all angles are also considered part of the twine family.
If you are talking synthetic, twine can be made with nylon, acrylic or polypropylene. Whatever the case, synthetic or natural, twine is made by twisting or braiding strands (sometimes called plies) together. The more strands the larger in diameter the finished product will be, the less strands, the smaller in diameter and finer in texture it will be. Braided strands will also be thicker than those that are just twisted together and of course be stronger as well.
Twine, like other materials is sorted by weight. They are usually said to be light, medium or heavy weight with the heavier weight being the strongest of the lot. Some manufacturers will use a number to indicate the weight and this also will correspond to the approximate diameter of the material.
Twine or string can be made in all different colours and all different weights. It can be plain or it can feature different coloured fibers being twisted or braided together. It has many, many uses from crafting to use in the outdoors, on boats, in vehicles and in all lines of work. You probably have a ball of twine in your junk drawer right now, and it has probably seen hundreds of uses already. It’s handy, it’s easy to work with and it doesn’t take up much space. In short it is something we can’t do without as we go about our daily lives.