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Rope colours and why we choose them

Rope colours and why we choose them, there are many reasons here are some of them:

  • Price

Price—yes, price is king, and white is the cheapest rope among a range of colours.

White is the natural colour of the yarns used to make ropes. The yarns are then treated with a dye to give them colour. That gives white rope an advantage, not only in price but also in strength.

Most contractors, who buy 10’s km at a time, buy only white rope as they know ropes are consumables, and with that, savings are up to 20%; that can be a lot of money if you buy a lot of rope.

  • Camouflage

We all love our tactical-looking gear, and most of it is in black. However, to be realistic, in an urban environment, black rope sticks out like a sore thumb. There is a different reason to choose black ropes, but that point will come later. In an urban environment, grey would make a lot more sense, or even blue, with more and more buildings getting glass facades.

For apparent reasons, the entertainment rigging industry chooses black ropes for up in their trusses.

So, when it comes down to camouflage, think about your environment before you make a choice.

  • Identification

I have said this before: “Rig for success.” This is why some training companies choose to use two different coloured ropes.

This means with rope that if you choose two different colours for your set of rope access ropes, you eliminate the chance that the trainee candidate needs clarification. So many training companies choose two colours to help their trainees but also because they are pretty.

The fire department and rope rescue teams might choose a specific colour to identify the length of the rope or the system to which the ropes belong.

It should be evident that this also relates to the colour bag the ropes go into. Colours can be convenient that way.

  • Pretty

Coloured ropes are more popular. We see this with rock climbing ropes; many arborist ropes have a multi-coloured pattern. So, with that in mind, we do see companies buy coloured ropes to match their look and branding, and I agree—it can look smashing!

  • Dirt

Dirt—or, better said, a lack of seeing dirt. Black ropes are often chosen because they keep their fresh look longer. It is true that white ropes or even other coloured ropes fairly quickly become dirty-looking. If you are not using your rope often, a black rope might be a wise investment. Still, they get as dirty as any other rope, so maintenance is just as necessary as any other rope.

  • No choice

If you need a rope fast, colour is always secondary, and you might end up with a rope that isn’t the colour you prefer. It is what it is, so prep well ahead, as ropes aren’t in stock as much as you think.

High-strength or heat-resistant ropes only come in their natural colour. You can not colour these specialty ropes. Although the first colours with the Dyneema are available, they aren’t 100% coverage and still rub off reasonably quickly.

All of these “reasons” are why we choose the colours or don’t have a choice in the colours of the rope we use.

Want to learn how a rope is made? Follow this link to our main rope supplier: Cousin Trestec