What’s the difference between Rope, String, Cord and Yarn?

Giza cotton rope ad string cord for macrame (rainbows) natural ecru Creadoodle

I often get this question and I totally understand it is a big questionmark for beginners to understand what differences there are, what it is called and most importantly: what do you choose!

It is easily explained, just read this post and you will know forever!

String is a bundle of fibers slightly twisted together. For a 2 mm string there are less fibers in a bundle and for a 5 mm string there are more fibers in the bundle. The bundle is called the string. String is also called single twist, single strand, yarn, 1-ply and cord. As you can see there are a lot of different names for just 1 product.
We offer string from 2 to 9 mm in various colours.

Rope is a product where 2 or more bundles / string are twisted together to form a rope. A rope is often made from 3 string twisted together also called a 3-ply rope, but the thinner ropes are also available in 2-ply, this means 2 string are twisted together. We offer 3 mm rope in 2-ply and thicker rope in 3-ply, which means 3 strings thwisted together to form a rope. Obiously 4-ply means 4 string twisted together to form 1 rope.

Then there is braided, this is a totally different product and in braided products there are differences as well. It can be called rope or cord.
Braided is kind of a knitted tube. Most braided rope have a polyester filling / core. It is a soft product, but not suitable for all projects. It is a very flexible product, which also means it is difficult to use for larger pieces since the cords stretch when more weight is on it. Also we would not recommend this for geometric pieces.

At this moment we do sell some massive braided rope (in our Basic Collection which wil not be restocked). Massive braided means the there is not seperate core, it is braided with 100% cotton which makes it very solid and firm. This makes it ideal for making rainbows and XXXL projects.
It is always good to ask us if you need a large amount of this product. We do not keep stock, but are able to order it for you from 6 to 15 mm.

There is also a braided cord which has no polyester filling and is not massive braided. It is only a braided tube with no filling.

Yarn…. used by knitters, crochet, macrame, weaving and more. It can be wool, cotton and all other products in this form. We use the word Yarn when we refer to a thinner string. All string in 1 or 2 mm is Yarn for us. It is also correct to call it cord or string.

Cord is a word used for many things, but we use it for the thicker strings. So where yarn is 2 mm and thinner, cord is 3 mm and thicker.
Also in most pattern cord is the word used when working in lengths. You cut the cords for you project (that can be rope and string).

What to choose for what project?
In the end it is not important, you can choose what you like most, there are some qualities for each project to keep in mind while choosing your product though.
String / Cord is probably the most used product in macrame and weaving. It is a soft product and gives a clean and calm/soft look to your work.
Rope is a more structured product, a bit harder and therefor ideal for larg wall hangings and geometric pieces.
For beginners we recommend to start with a rope because it is easier to learn the knots using a harder product.
String is also oftend used for fringe. You can combine rope and string in 1 project this way.

Want to know more? Let us know please!