Garden rope

Which is the best rope for garden use?

Looking for the ideal garden rope? Perhaps to spruce up the decking? Edge your lawn? Or set up this year’s tomato trellis?

You’ll certainly need something strong and durable.

Thanks to the inclement weather in the UK, anything you leave outside for a prolonged period of time needs to be able to withstand a significant level of wear and tear. And here at RopesDirect, we believe there are only a handful of ropes tough enough for the job.

i.e. the ones in our carefully curated collection of garden and outdoor ropes.

Of course, the ‘ideal’ option for you will depend on the project or job you have in mind – and whether you’d prefer a natural product (that’s biodegradable and environmentally friendly), or a synthetic rope that can tolerate the harsh conditions.

But to set you on the right track, these are the top five products we usually recommend for use in the Great British garden. Ropes that are tried and tested in an outdoor environment, and will hold up well against the wind and rain (and occasional bit of sunshine!).


Our top 5 garden ropes


1. Synthetic hemp

Taking the top spot is one of our ultimate best-sellers – synthetic hemp rope.

It may be soft-to-touch and have a natural hemp appearance, but don’t let this fool you. Made from synthetic polypropylene fibres, it’s one of the hardiest options available. Synthetic hemp is fully weatherproof, UV resistant and doesn’t swell or shrink when wet. In fact, you could leave it outside for many years and it would still look as good and do the job just as well.

Suitable for extended outdoor use, it’s a great choice for a variety of garden projects, including decking, rope fences and handrails, lawn edging, swing seats, rose swags and more.

Available to buy in large coils, reels and by the metre in diameters ranging from 4mm to 65mm.


Outdoor ropes available at RopesDirect


2. PolySilk

A colourful, luxurious alternative to synthetic hemp rope.

PolySilk has an attractive and traditional three-strand construction, and comes in seven eye-catching colours, including red, purple, white, black, silver grey, navy and pink. But it definitely isn’t all style over substance.

Manufactured from tough polypropylene fibres, it’s UV-stabilised and fully weather-resistant. It demonstrates very little stretch, even whilst wet. And will hold up well in the face of prolonged damp conditions and wear and tear – maintaining both its strength and colourful appearance.

It’s a fab choice for anyone looking to brighten up their outdoor space, such as decking, rope fences, outdoor lighting and other creative projects.

We currently stock 24mm PolySilk by the metre, for just £6 per metre (Mar 2024).


Customer picture of our garden rope


3. Manila

A fantastic all-round outdoor rope.

Manila may be made from 100% natural fibres (taken from the abacá plant), but as it contains natural oils, it can successfully withstand the elements – and is better suited to long-term outdoor use than most other natural ropes.

It’s inherently strong and durable and demonstrates fantastic knot retention. Knots are much less likely to loosen. But even if the rope is frequently knotted and untied, it can resist the wear and tear for many years.

It can also stand up to UV rays and abrasion. Plus, it’s pretty resistant to the effects of water. Subject it to extreme weather conditions or keep it in a severely damp environment, and it will easily maintain its integrity.

With these qualities in mind, manila rope has become a popular option for use at home and commercially, for fencing, decking barriers and handrails, lawn-edging and children’s play areas. But it’s important to keep in mind, as a natural fibre, it will shrink when it gets wet. If you do choose this type of rope for an outdoor application, where it’s likely to get wet on a continuous or regular basis, we recommend adding a minimum of 10-15% extra to your order.

Available to buy by the metre, on reels and in coils, in diameters ranging from 6mm to 60mm.


4. Jute rope

Perfect for anyone who would prefer a natural look without compromising on strength. Our jute ropes offer the best of both worlds.

Boasting a natural jute outer, they’re soft-to-touch, comfortable to handle and boast a stunning natural appearance. They also demonstrate excellent resilience to wear and tear, fantastic resistance to heat and sunlight, little to no stretching and excellent knot-ability.

Jute itself is an inherently strong rope fibre. But most of the products in our jute range also benefit from a polypropylene core – further adding to their strength and resilience.

As such, they’re a great option for sustained outdoor use – particularly for decking projects and plant supports. However once again, due to the natural outer (that is susceptible to shrinking when it gets wet), it’s worth adding an extra 10-15% to your required length.

Sold by the metre, wound on reels or in large coils to match your quantity requirements.


Sisal twine for the garden


5. Sisal rope (or twine)

A fully natural option, perfect for eco-friendly gardeners.

Derived from the agave sisalana plant, sisal fibres have a ‘classic rope’ appearance and are naturally very soft and flexible. Yet they’re also inherently strong and durable – with excellent resistance to sunlight and very little stretch (even when exposed to water).

As a result, sisal has become a highly popular choice for domestic garden projects – with ropes commonly selected for decking and timberwork, and twines frequently used in the potting shed, for making tomato trellises, supporting plant growth, creating plant hangers etc.

Sisal ropes are available to purchase in reels, coils and by the metre, in thicknesses ranging from 6mm to 40mm. We also stock 2-ply and 3-ply sisal twine balls in various lengths.


Still not sure which is the best rope for your garden project?

All of the options outlined above are tough enough for extended outdoor use and are the products we usually recommend as ideal ‘garden rope’. So pick from this list and you can’t go far wrong!

If you’re still a little unsure, though, lots of additional information on our garden and outdoor ropes can be found throughout our website – particularly in our ‘Help Choosing Rope’ section and on the individual product pages. It can help to have a little look around to find out more.

You’re also welcome to contact us at any time. You can send a message using our online form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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