It takes very special hemp bondage rope to impress me, especially as a devout fan of jute, but I have just been stunned by the new hemp rope that my suppliers have made. When I unpacked, I literally went "Wow!". That's quite an accolade from a cynic like me.
Hemp rope is usually coarse with a low number of crude yarns and a smell I find reminiscent of a farmyard silage pit. Yes, I know some find that very evocative but it's not my favourite smell. If I want an odour for anchoring, I prefer to add a more pleasing fragrance using essential oils. Most hemp needs tedious wet treatment to get it to a state where you could actually use it. Not everyone has the time, space, weather or inclination for all that faffing around. Customers just want to get down to using it, don't they?
My Amanawa linen hemp addressed many of these problems being ready to use (or to get all pretentious: prêt à attacher?) with an extraordinarily high count of fine threads and low odour. It's massive popularity seems to confirm my opinion, it is one of my best sellers. The new rope is very different. Firstly, the fibre is nothing short of exceptional. Totally clean, highly consistent with a nice sheen and no discernible odour. This is the first time that I have seen hemp with a jute-like sheen. Generally, I find hemp dull looking and linty. It rarely develops the gorgeous patina of a fine jute. I'm guessing this is a quality garment grade yarn but I need to get confirmation from the factory.
Like the Amanawa, the new hemp softens up fast with no treatment. It might benefit from oiling/waxing it but the piece I have been playing around with seems fine without it. I washed some and that's really soft now but, like the standard Amanawa, I think it will soften quickly with a little use anyway.
Talking of stability, I note the construction is 16 double yarns per ply. This means it is still very fine and smooth but it also brings the benefit of the stability that double yarns bring. I suspect that this rope will keep its shape, balance and consistency for a very long time.
This is destined to be a new best seller ;-) If you thought Amanawa was good, this will blow you away!