Paracord (a/k/a, parachute cord) is a soft, lightweight nylon rope originally used as suspension lines of U.S. parachutes. The paracord used in Rip & TiedTMproducts is “550 cord”, which is made up of a 32 strand woven nylon outer sheath with an inner core of seven, 2 ply nylon yarns. Because of the high number of woven strands, the exterior sheath has a smooth feel. Paracord has a diameter of roughly 1/8th of an inch.
All of Rip & TiedTM products are made in the U.S.A. with “Type III” paracord which is manufactured to have a minimum breaking strength of 550 pounds. The paracord comes from a government contractor which supplies the military.
Although originally used as parachute cord, paratroopers found paracord useful for many other tasks. As such, it is now used as a general purpose utility cord by both military personnel and civilians. This type of cord was even used by astronauts during STS-82, the second Space Shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
Currently, virtually all United States military units have access to paracord. It is used for many situations where light cordage is needed. Typical uses include attaching equipment to harnesses, as dummy cords to avoid losing small or important items, tying backpacks to vehicle racks, securing camoflage nets to trees or vehicles, and so forth. When threaded with beads, paracord may be used as a pace counter to estimate ground covered by foot. The threads of the core (commonly referred to as “the guts”) can also be removed when finer string is needed, for instance as sewing thread to repair gear or fishing line in an emergency situation. The nylon sheath is often used alone, the yarn in the core removed, when a thinner or less elastic cord is needed. Ends of the cord are almost always melted and crimped to prevent fraying.
Paracord is quick drying, and is rot and mildew resistant.