Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 ANNOUNCEMENT: The commie-cough will not affect 9 out of 10 orders at the moment as I currently have plenty of stock and couriers are still working. Please order as normal and I'll get back to you if there's a problem. Of course, feel free to ring or email first if you like. R&S operates from my garage at home. Philip. 07779255924 sales@ropeandsplice.co.uk


Rope Handrail Building Regulations

I've only had one of my rope banisters fail building regs, to my knowledge, and that was using 'no stem' brackets. But as its only happened once, and I've sold so many of these now over the last 7 years, I think a lot has to do with the individual building inspector that you're dealing with and whether you're using 'no-stem' or 'with stem' banister brackets. If you need to keep one eye on building regs then I'd suggest using my stemmed brackets as the stem takes the rope away from the wall making it more practical and easier to grab than its no stem cousins ('Stem' is the tube that connects the backplate that screws onto the wall to the round bit that the rope goes through - the middle bit). So that means using my chrome brackets, brass brackets or stemmed blacksmith brackets.

If you want to be completely certain write to the inspector first referencing my website. If you're needing to use my blacksmith 'no-stem' brackets then I'd certainly suggest getting the go ahead from your inspector first just in case. 

The inspector wants to see and feel something safe. As long as you've used stemmed brackets and fitted the brackets to the wall competently, you should be absolutely fine. 

Q)What are the dimensions of the stair rope banister brackets?

A) Blacksmith round backplate diameter: 75mm.

Blacksmith brackets for 24mm rope:
No stem total clearance: 39mm
With stem total clearance:75mm

Blacksmith brackets for 36mm rope:
No stem total clearance: 53mm
With stem total clearance: 89mm

Chrome and Brass rope brackets for 24mm and 36mm rope

24mm- Backplate diameter: 46mm
Total clearance: 76mm

36mm- Backplate diameter: 55mm
Total clearance: 98mm

Q) What are the dimentions of the wooden wall mounts?

A) The face where the bracket goes: 70mm

The face that goes on the wall: 95mm

Clearance from wall: 18mm

The wooden wall mounts work best with the chrome and brass brackets as the blacksmith bracket backplate goes over a touch. 

Q) How much drape?

A) You actually need very little extra for drape. Adding as little as 2% will add a slight drape which is about the right amount of drape for a banister or barrier rope. You can calculate what 2% drape will look like by measuring out a metre of string then adding 2cm and then bringing the end back to the one metre mark. Some people like a lot of drape in their decking rope so I advise running the above test.

Q) How long do the ropes last outside?

A) I can give you some approximate figures for this but I'm not guaranteeing anything at all as it varies greatly on how much UV (ultraviolet radiation) the rope receives, it's application and for the natural rope, how much of it's time is spent wet and slowly rotting.

Manila Rope: About 8 years; 10 or more if you're lucky. It has a resin that gives it some natural resistance to UV. The best natural rope to use outside.

Synthetic Hemp Rope: Made from UV-treated polypropylene this ought to last as long as Manila Rope; about 8 years and as it's plastic it won't rot like a natural rope does. Won't last as long under load.

100% Natural Hemp Rope: I advise not using this outside as it will rot away in about a year.

100% Cotton Rope: Not suited to outside use as it is prone to mildew and rot.

Q) What are the qualities of the different ropes?

A) Manila Rope is fairly rough to the touch but not too bad at all in my opinion. Not nearly as rough as Sisal Rope which is horrible to touch. There is the possibility of getting a splinter from this rope if you're running the rope through your hands. Colour; starts off brown but left outside will become a grey/silver colour.
100% Natural Hemp Rope is quite soft and runs through the hands nicely but can have some scratchy bits in it. A risk, but a low one, of getting a splinter. The rope smells of hemp which fades over time. Ideal for banisters in older, more traditional properties due to its aesthetic and olfactory authenticity. Colour; a hard to define light natural sandy colour, please see customer photos
100% Cotton Rope is very soft to the touch but being off-white will show dirt - although it can be cleaned quite effectively with a dry nail brush. Colour; off-white. This rope is not bleached so it's not snow white.
Synthetic Hemp Rope is soft and easy to handle. It looks like a traditional rope and not many people can tell the difference just by looking at it. The best option for a banister. Colour; a light colour of beige, like the colour of sand on a Cornish beach when it's sunny.

Q) What is the best rope to use on my decking?

A) IT IS VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO DRILL ANY HOLES IN YOUR POSTS UNTIL AFTER YOU GET THE ROPE!!! Best to use a drill bit that is 3-4mm bigger than the rope that is directly in front of you. Manila Rope or Synthetic Hemp Rope.Manila rope has the advantage of being natural but will expand in diameter and shorten in length when wet, possibly as much as 10%. It is important that this rope should never be installed tight between posts outside as wet shrinking Manila rope can snap posts! Synthetic Hemp rope remains constant so you always know where you are with it. Both last the longest outside - hopefully 8 years or more.

Q) Where is the rope most likely to fail?

A) The knot or splice is always the weakest part of a rope under load. It can decrease the ropes overall breaking strength by as much as a third. The rope is also more likely to rot where the rope cannot dry such as in the rope hole in a post.

Q) How long will my rope be when it includes Splices and Manrope Knots?

A) If you ordered 5 metres with a Soft Eye Splice either end the finished product will be 5 metres measured from the flattened tip of each eye. With Manrope Knots either end, the length of rope specified will be the useful length between the two knots, so not including the knots. If you'd like the length given by you to include the knots then mention this in the 'special instructions' by saying "Length given includes manrope knots". So this means with banisters that the length given is from first bracket to last bracket. The cost of the extra rope needed to do a Manrope Knot or Splice is taken into account with the pricing.

Q) Can you make bespoke work?

A) Yes of course. Just email me what you would like made up and I'll get back to you with suggestions and a quote. Please include your telephone number in your email message.

Q) What is the best rope for making garden swings?

A) The easiest way to make a swing is to order two lengths with a Manrope Knot at the end of each. After receiving the rope, drill two holes in a plank of wood and then thread the ropes through. The Manrope Knot will act as a stopper knot securing the swing in place as you make off the tail ends. 12mm, 16mm or 20mm Manila or Synthetic Hemp rope is best.

Q) What is the best tug-of-war rope or climbing rope?

A) Synthetic Hemp Rope is best followed by Manila Rope. I'd use Manila rope because it's cheaper and does the job fine. Gloves recommended to avoid burns or splinters.

Q) What is the best rope for a fire escape?

A) 100% Natural Hemp Rope due to its high combustion temperature.

Q) Are there other methods of payment other than PayPal?

A) You can pay via internet bank transfer or send me a cheque. Please note you can use PayPal without having a PayPal account, by inputting your debit/credit card details for a one-time payment on the PayPal site.

Q) What are the breaking strengths of all the ropes?

A) For Manila Rope, 100% Natural Hemp Rope and Synthetic Hemp Rope, please refer to the breaking strength table below. Please note I currently do not have information on the breaking strength of 100% Cotton Rope or 36mm Synthetic Hemp Rope.


Manila Rope
Minimum Breaking
Strength (kg)
100% Natural
Hemp Rope

Minimum Breaking
Strength (kg)
Synthetic Hemp Rope
Minimum Breaking
Strength (kg)
6 350 250 300
8 545 450 500
10 705 690 950
12 1060 980 1360
14 1450 1320 1910
16 2030 1700 2500
18 2450 2250 3170
20 3250 2650 4220
22 3880 3150 4510
24 4600 3750 4930
28 6100 5050 No Data
32 7900 6500 No Data
36 9600 8150 No Data


Q) Do you deliver to my country?

A) Yes, but outside the EU we only ship 'ex-works' which means you arrange courier pick up from us and handle everything from there. Please get in touch for details.

Can you add to this or do you consider any of this information inaccurate?
If so, please email us via the "Contact Us" page.



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