Whipping Twine is a must for any rope care kit because applying a good whipping to the end of all your ropes is the best method of prolonging their useful life.
Whipping Twine can also be used for applying a seizing to knots, splices, tapers, and other forms of rope work and rigging.
Incorporating some stitching into any whipping with a sailmaker needle and palm will help to produce a secure and long-lasting finish.
Stitch and Whip
It is also possible to create an attachment eye or loop at the end of a rope using a method commonly known as a Stitch and Whip. The eyes can be formed with a soft rope-only loop or around a thimble. The Stitch and Whip technique is ideal for e.g. non-spliceable lines, small diameter cords, shock cords (bungee), and restricted room situations where the increased diameter of a splice would be too long and bulky.
Why is Whipping so important?
Rope is produced on complex weaving and winding machinery to exact manufacturer design tolerances, so fixing all the strands together at the end is crucial to preserving the designed form and integrity of the line. Upsetting the balance of the construction will weaken the rope and impair performance.
Allowing the end to separate, fray, and unravel may not only mean sacrificing the extremity but could also compromise the entire length by interfering with the harmony of the strands. This is especially true of braided lines which comprise an outer cover and an inner core.
If the inner and outer are not stitched and whipped together at the ends, they will experience different tensions under load which will very soon lead to problems e.g. bunching, wrinkling, and loops of inner braid appearing through the outer braid.
Whipping the ends will help to prevent tension issues which would otherwise reduce the working life of a rope.
Braided Line Construction
LIROS Ropes manufacture braided lines with a braided core inside a braided sheath. This is known as Braid on Braid or Doublebraid. LIROS EVO Braid on Braid and LIROS Porto Braided Dockline are two of the best-known braid on braid lines available.
Marlow Ropes produce a notable exception to the more prevalent braid on braid line called Marlowbraid which has a laid core with the strands in a spiral form. This is known as Braid on Laid.
Why do the Whipping Yourself ?
You may be a dab hand with a needle and twine, but if you aren't, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by asking us to finish your new ropes for you.
You will be eager to show off your new ready-to-go ropes to your crew, and any other visiting sailors :-)
You can order it all on our website using either our custom build online tool or the whipping option from the appropriate rope splicing:
Separate Splicing and Whipping Options
Jimmy Green Marine Custom Build
The Jimmy Green Custom Build System provides a superb service which means that you don't need to do any whipping yourself. Instead, you can purchase each rope on our website with the ends professionally finished and ready for action. It is a simple step-by-step process, and our clever online tool instantly calculates a price for your selected options.
There is a drop-down menu of options at each stage. If you need help deciding which will suit you best, a quick email or telephone call to our Rigging Team will soon narrow it down.
Whipping Twine – Do I need Waxed or Unwaxed?
Waxed is definitely preferable.
Our Whipping Twines are all impregnated with wax which acts as a lubricant and makes it much easier to pass the twine through strands of rope with a sail needle. The wax additive facilitates a tidy alignment of the multiple windings involved in a whipping and also improves a heat-sealing finish.
LIROS Whipping Twine
LIROS Whipping Twine sizing is nominal, denoted in thickness by millimetre - the most popular sizes are 1mm for lines up to around 10mm and 1.5mm up to 18mm. The Jimmy Green Rigging Team uses 2mm for larger diameter ropes.
LIROS waxed whipping twine is available in 1mm, 1.5mm: White, Black, Blue, Green, Red, and Yellow plus White, Black, and Navy in 2mm.
The Jimmy Green Rigging Team uses LIROS waxed whipping twines on specially produced large cops for frequent use. LIROS is their preference because the wax impregnation is excellent. The only exception would be a requirement for a colour that LIROS doesn't manufacture.
Marlow Whipping Twine
Marlow Whipping Twine sizing can be a little confusing because it is denoted by a number, but the nominal thicknesses are stated below and in our product description to help.
Marlow waxed whipping is available in 0.5mm (Number 2, in white only, very thin), 0.8mm (Number 4, available in both white and colours) and 1.1mm (Number 8, in white only, for larger diameter lines). Marlow used to produce a 1.5mm size, but it has been discontinued.
Marlow waxed whipping twine is available in White in three sizes plus Beige (for Classic ropes) Black, Blue, Gold, Green and Red in Size 4 only.
What else do I need to produce a Rope Whipping?
In addition to a selection of whipping twines, you will need some Insulation Tape or Sellotape for temporarily holding the rope or individual strands in place, some sailmaker needles in different sizes according to the line diameter, and a sailmaker palm for pushing the needle through any resistance in the rope.
A Stitch and Whip Kit is available in a convenient stowage bag as a starter pack.
Self-amalgamating tape or heat shrink tubing may also be useful to act as a protective cover for any rope work.
Related articles: Why Whip?