Utilization of cotton and other materials in cordage and twine


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Utilization of cotton and other materials in cordage and twine
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Evans, Robert B., 1912-
United States -- Bureau of Agricultural Economics
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Agriculture Economics ( Washington, D.C )
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Bureau of Agricultural Economics





By Robert B. Evans, Assistant Agricultural Economist and
R. J. Cheatham, Principal Cotton Technologist

Washington, D. C.
November 1940

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This report is the twenty-fourth of a series by the Bureau of
Agricultural Economics relating to the uti.lizati.on of American cotton.
Those issued are:

A Partial List of' Uses of American Raw Cotton
Cotton Bags in the Wholesale Groce-ry Trode
(Out of print. See sixth publication listed)
Fam Uses for Cotton and Its Products
Cotton Bagging for Cotton
Domestic I:ill Consumption of American Cotton by 'Crades
and Staples
Cotton Bags and Other Containers in the '.'holesele (rocery Trade
Cotton Bags in the Fertilizer Industry
Quality of the Cotton Spun in the United StLtes
(Year ending July, 31, 1928)
The Use of Cottcn Bags as Consum.er Packages for Potatoes
Cotton Consumption in Power Laundries of the United States, 1928
Cotton Picking Sacks, Cotton Pickirg Sheets, ard Tarpaulins
Used on Cotton Farms of the United States
Staple Length of Foreign-C-rovn Cotton Consumed in the United
States, 1928-1931
Use of Cottoni Ba.gs and Other Containers in Flour Mills of the
United States 1931
Comparative Advantages of Jute a-nd Cotton Bergging for American
Cotton Bales
Use of Cotton Bags and Other Containers in Flour ills of the
United States 1932
Effe-ct of Certain Bale Covers on the Spinr.ing Bchavior of Cotton
Cotton Fabrics for Bituminous-Surfaced Reads
Cotton e.nd Other flateriv.ls Utilized in B-gs for C-ment
Cotton Utilized in Cominbed !,arqu-sette
Cotton Used in Tire Fabrics
Cotton Bags ar.d Other Containe-s in Flour "rills of thie United
States, Yea-.rs Ended June -.", 9!33 rnd 1934
Utilization of Cotton end Gu'.':r aLtcri.Ils in Fprtili-cr Ears
Cotton Bags and Other Coitv'.r.a.rs inr. Flour "ills of the United
States, Years Ended JunE 3'-, 1933 aQQd 19,M
Ttilization of Cotton and Othuer interials in Cordap-e end Tvwinc

The studies reported in this s-ries are a :.rt of p. prcogrcsn of
research of the United States Decjrtr.-cnt of Ap-ricuiture and cooperating
agencies on the utilization of Anrcrican cotton.

2 -



History of Cordage and Twine .
Material Used in Cordawe and Tine ....
The M:-nufucturirg Process . ..
Cordage Productc . .
Binder T inc . .
Twine Other T'.Ari1 Binder vvinc ..
Cordage t-nd T.'inc Other Th.ni Bindrr Tvire .
Bindcr T:..-nc . . .
Cotton Twrines for Tving Pacl-.:cs .
Cotton r.ihn-s Cor Fithing . .
Serring and Oth .r Cott'on ',,incs ..
Cotton Cordagc . .. .. .
Quan.tity and flrvdc of Cottoi Ued ...

* U S U 3 3
* p S U 6 4
* S U 6 3 7
* S S S 6 11J
* .t 12b
S. 13
* 15
* 16
. 20
. 20
* 20J
* 25
* 29
* 36

* 6 6 U 387
S S 6 39
* >41
* 41

Trends in Conrsur.ption of Cotton inr Ccrdtjc an, T-minc

* 43
* 46

- 3 -

Bureau of Agricultural Economics


I By Robert B. Evans, Assistant Agricultural Economist and
R. J. Cheatham, Principal Cotton Technologist 2_/ 2/'


SThe demand for American cotton is a reflection of the, demand for
Sthe thousands of products into which it is manufactured. Consequently,
a thorough understanding of this dmnard invclv-s k1,owl.edge of the raw-
material requirements of these products and of th- economic and
technological factors affctinr thc.ir use.

In order to secure a fund of' information on this subject, the
Bureau of Agricultural Economics hlas made a series of studies an-lyzing
certain uses :.,nd groups of ises of cotton. Thii pres.rnt study has three
principal r.ia (I) To determine the qu!:ntitv of cotton ana other
fibers used in ccrdc.ge and tv.-int; (2) to obta..in qtan it t.tive information
on the grade cAd stupli. of lint cotton and on UL,. tvpxcs of cotton waste
used in cott'-n nordag.j onau tineli; urd (3) to detbrmiu': the rajor factors
affooting th.. ujc. of' cotton for this purpose.

i Utilizn.a.jcn of cotton in cordal e uind twine is of particular
interest bi'aure cotton ic hfi:rc used ,.s .. cord rather than as a fabric.
On the basis .-t cenLu- data, it is cs-tin-.t.d th.,.t roughly throe-fourths
of the total q'.ntrit-y of cot-con o.is aricd in the United States is made
into the varlcu.s t-ops of cotton: /iov-n goods mnoro thin 12 inches in
width. Liothcr 12 percent, rpproximatcly, is 'i,.dn into other kinds of
fabric, chiefly knit prodc, cr .s riixd with other fibers in rayon,
silk, and woolon .-oods. Cf the nonfabric uzs.s, thrc'-.d, tvwine, aid
cordage require less than 5 percent of the Lot.J cotton used, twine 2.nd
coriagr together rr-qu ring ."Lout 3 percent. Ti.;- rcmnLinirg 8 prrccnt is
used chic-Ply in battings, w'.ddings, and rqmttrLss f"itrc, vnd similar uses,
and coi:sijts la.rgle of cotton vrastc reanove-d d'iing procL'ssinf of other

II/ Acknowledgment is made Of the Gssist-.-.r.ce rttndrod by various cordage
and tw.ne manufacturers and br th-: Cordug.c Institute, -whose cooperation
made possibli3 the completio:- cf this survw -v :nd r-rort. Aclnowl'lr:dmcnt
also is made of thu assistance giv( n by ccrtrin st,-f? m,.rbf rs of the
U. S. Department of kprici lti'rc -.nd t'he T. S. Trriff Co-'nirsion.
S/ Formerly members of the Purcau of Ar'-ic ltura.'. Economics, no-.w members
Sof the Southcrn Rc;ional Resuarch LvboraLory, iur.'1.u of A-ricul tural
Chemistry and Fnginccrins.

I. .

..... .... .


Although the quantity of cotton u-ised in cordage and twine is
small as compari.d with tlC. siz1 of the cotton crop, it is rclntivolv
large as co'nporud witiL qunitics consuiacd in rost of the other
individual uses cf cotton and also as compared with quantities of
other fibers used ir- ccrdage and twinc. There arc sume 1,500 plants
from which fibrous substances may be derived but not more than 25 are
used commerci-ally in the manufa.cture of textiles and cordage. Principal
fibers used in the n.anufucturo of cordage and twine in this country
number 11; n.r.-.ly, sis.l, heroquen, abaca' ('ailar- fiber), phormi'm
(Now Zealand fiber), istic (T-mnpico fiber), car.tala (magucy), Mauritius
hemp (pit-.ra), jute, hc.-eI, flsx, ond cotton. Paper, although not a
fiber, airo is used in the manufa".turc of twine. Although cotton is
not consiccr-:d -. "corc'agc fiber" in the sane sense .s arc cErtain
ethcr fibers lil:ce hcrnp, it is used in thjr United St-ates in greater
quantities in the manufacture ujf twiniie ard cncragc combined than any
other 'ib,.r except h12.cqucn. Ir. 1P37, cstir.atrd consumption of cotton
in twinec ani cird2-r. r aggr!-atod 118 million perunds, the equivalent of
aoproxin-tcly 248,0f0 rct--.voi-ht brios.

Information uscd in this report -.rns decriv:-d in part fror. a
qucsticnnaire s.-nt t,:. rp.niuf cturcrs, in vrhich infern;ition was requested
on cotton utilization in crda,'e -Lrd tvwirc. Replies were -bt-ined frora
54 rianuf-.cturcrs, rcorc9(rtirg 65 p-rcont of thc totdl cotton twine
production .-nd 3.2 pcrcc.it T' th tc tLl cotton cordage production in
1937. Additional inf-,r-.tinn has bc, n rLrivcT froT the Census of Panu-
factures .nd nlir fr'.L- v-.ri-us cthc r official an! trads-& sources.

Tqistrv cf Cordsag -rd Twire

Thie act of cc:'bi:nin tvo :r more em.nretir eler.onts, through twirtinrg,, into 2 cr..p-rativrly strt.r:, yarn, cord, or
thread, rr y be safclv reckored as onc of the first tecc!ical achieve-
recnts cf r.an. Fvcry civilization yot discovered, no rz-tter howr
elenental, has Leei. proficiunt in t-,il- practice. The idea of cordage
is so universal th..t it night v-cll have ha-d muJtiple origins, the idea
occurring to r.-ny mr.n in r.-ny parts of the vorld, separated by great
roaches .f tine. _/

Prinitivc n..onlc enr. rally ha.1 access only t.. the natcrials at
hand for cordasu purpose's; .Pj,os c result, almost ev7cry cc-nceivable
material, bwth animal aid vcgr-t-.blc, was used for this purpose in dif-
ferent prts of t'if.e -:':nrld. Cotton, fu.r cx..rpIc, is lmotn to have booen
used for cordage by b-th th-- ahcri( ir:s c f the scuthwcsteni States /
and by thc p( opi- cf India s/ before our present civilization.

2/ Crawford, H. D. C., ThI flerit ge of Cottcn: Th' Fibre ,f Two Worlds
ao.nd of 'ary Ages.
4/ Jor.ces, VWln,-y H., A Sunrrary of D-.ta on Ab'riginal Cotton in th3
Southwest. University of NLW Icxicn BullCetin, Syn-jsiun on Prehistoric
Agriculture, October 15, 1936, p. 51.
5/ Roylc, J. F., Th. Fibrous Plants -f Ildia Fitted f-r Ccrdage,
Clothing, and Ppcr, 1855, p. 2.

- 5 -

With the gradual. increase in trarle betc.'cen c,.untrirs, ccrt,-in
fibers gained prominence as being pv.rticul.rly su.:it',bl.: f.,r cordage
purposes. Until the last century, the :.'ost irportnnit of these was true
hemp. Hemp was used in cordag'- on the ships .f S..rrcuse in 200 B. C.
and, according to Pliny, was in cc.-on us: for the s,-rc purpose cnong
the Romans of the first century.i6 Flax also was used for cordage in
ancient and nidiev.,l tines but its use for this purpose wars& ccr.pn'.rcatively
limited as compared with its utilization in w'.vcn fa.brics.

Although jute had long been used in India for cordage and other
purposes, it did not become popular in other countries until about 1830,
when improvements in spinningg mabhincry radc possible its processing on
a commercial scale. Abaca' or Manila fiber also was introduced to com-
merce about the sane tine, coniing into widespread use C. few years later
as the result of the stoppage of Russian honemp supplies during the
Crinmean WVar. Other fibers now used in the manufacture .'f cordage and
twine were also introduced into world trade during the nineteenth cen-
tury, no new nzaterials having been nade available in cormerci.al quantities
since 1900.2/

In the United States, thc ec.r'ciercial production ),f cordage began
with the establishing of a ropewalk in Boston in 1642.1' By 1792, rope-
walks were in operation in all )f the N1k Englon4 States, as well as in
New York, Philadelphia, Maryland, and Virginia../ The devclcpnent of the
SAmerican norch'int marine between the Americ=n Revolution and the Civil
War provided the impetus for a c-mntinucd expansion of this inrhustry.

Boforr 1830, rope manufacturing vas don',L by hand. Twisting of
the fibers ws accomplished by a nan walking backward dovnwi the "walk,"
spinning fror. the fiber which wvs strung about his waist. The twist
was imported t- the rope by a wheel, which was at first turned by hand
but was later actuated by.r horse -r w_..ter poaer. Soon n.ftc.'r 1830 the
modern factory systev- began to replace thcs, r-,cth,.ds of rakin, r-,pe andc
the necessary ti,.-st was imp"rt.dci bv rapidly, rotating nachincrv. Inven-
tion of the self-binding harvcst...r o.:Wd the subsequent .e-7.7nd fcr binder
twine opened a large new riarket for the c-:rdac indastr.r -ifter 1875.10/
In addition, dcnands for c.ther types cf tvjinc i .e L cordage from domestic
agriculture ani industry increased greatly.

Generally spea]-ing, cotton cordage ?uid twine have been nanufac-
tured in separate iiills from those manufacturing croao.ge and twine from
other fibers, owing to differences in the ;.iachincry required for spinning
yarns. Little is kmown in regard to how long cotton cordage and twine

6/ Wocdhouse, T., Vand Kilgour, P., Cordage and Cordage Hnemp and Fibres,
London, 1919, p. 3.'
7_/ Oakley, F. I., Long Vegotablc Fibers, London, 1928, Introduction.
8 American Encyclopedia. n.rticle on cordagc.
These Ropenrkers Felpod Start Fight fur Indepcendonce in '76. Cordage
Mag., October 1938, p. 24.
0/ American Encyclopedia. Article on Cerdr.geo.


-6 -

have been manufactured and( used in this country, but it is thought that
they wore'first in.ported frrn Englrrd fir usC principally on sailing
vessels. Cotton twins ftr tying purposes are said to hLvo originlatod
as an adaptation to a nc.w us'; ftr yarns ".lrcady- being manufactured for
carpet wea-7inC .zi for se'.-inZ s'.ils. Sevor.l cstablishnents manufactur-
ing seine twine, which is used largely fr fishing purposes, begr. opera-
tions noro than c.ne hundred yenrs agogl.L and nets wore ranufnctu'red
froq d-mcticelly pr-.,ucd tvines after about 1844.i_/

BeLfore 1900 the great pr-'portinn !'f ccttcn twine used f,':r tying
puripcses in tl-is c.mntry a's if 3, 4, and. 5-ply, -r the sizes of greatest
i'ootagL per pcund. The irtrcducticn -.f polished cott-in twine in 1895
and the appearance un the n-irket of hL.rvier ply cotton twins about the
sain, tine, have resulted in cotton tvinos being used f-r purposes for
which only jute, hcmp, 'and flax.: t-vinos forner-rlyv were available. This
chaigc, with th- accoipanyi-ig- increase in corjncrcial and industrial
activity since 1900, h:a.s rcsultcd in trc.nend !us increa-se in the use
of cotton twvines.

Efforts have beon r,ado front tino to tiML tU standardize specifi-
cations and to lir.in.te unnecessary varictics of cordage anrd twine
under the. Sinpliod Practice Program jf the Nc.ticnal Bureau cf Standards.
iLs a result, rccmiendations wure iadpted between 1928 and 1932 which
provided standardized specifications for hard-fiber twines, jute twines,
flax and hemp t-vines, and polished cotton tvincs.Y_ In the case of
polished cotton tvriucs an rAirination of approximately 75 percent of
the number of c-nstructions wvs ofi'fect-eI. ,Ls yet there arc no standardized.
specifications for th. v.ri us types o.f cord ge )r for unpolished cotton

Production of cotton twinro md cordage is concentratod at present
in the States if Go rgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Maryland, Texas,
and Tennessee, -4th sumallcr -mounts prnducod elsewhere. &Fst of the
plants r.anufactuiring twine a-id c-rd(rgc frnn fibers other thrn cotton
are located in the Statcs of Now Y rk, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania,
Now Jersey, mnd Ohie, but therj are a few plants nlserwhere, including
a scattering of prison bindcr-tvwnrc fncto'rirs in the Ejijdlowest.

In rencral, twinr.c (l cnrdare plants perform a-lI Par ufacturing
processes roquirod to- transform the raw fiber int. the finished product.
However, some c",tt.n twine -rMd. c,,rccge plants nrnuf-cture their product
frorT purchased yarns, p-rtirul..rlr sna'l nills rr&ducinr specia.lties.

ll/ Cor.pilcd from informnnticn in Davis-rn's Ccrdage, Twine anl Duck
Trade, 1938, Davison Publishing Corpany, Ridgewood, Y. J.
12/ Encyclopedia Britannica. iLrticlc on nets.
United States Depa-rtment '.f Coi-inorcc, Bureau of Standards,
Washincton. Si'nplifid Practice Roc-Mrendations R92-28, RllO-29,
R124-31, R136-32.

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Materials Use-' in Cordagec and Tininc

With the exception of ccttt n a-nd ninor qu=.titics .j' flax and
hemp, all fibers used in this country in the ;.-nufacturc if cordage and
twine are imported. Those fibers originate in a nunbcr of different
countries and under a variety of natural onvircnf-lcnts. Their use in
the various types of twine and cordage is c-ntrolled both by their
physical adaptability to specified roquircnunts wtd by the couparativo
cost at which they are available.

Fibers used for twine and cordage, uth.r than cotton, may be
divided int) two groups: (1) Hard or "lcaf" fibers which ore derived
from the tissues of loaves and leaf stems of plc.nts :.nd (2) soft or
bastt" fibers which arc derived fromin the bast tissues o-f plant stems.
Hard fibers used extensively include henequcn, sisal, abaca' (Manila
hemp), istle, cantala (magucy), and phorniun (Ncnr Zealand fiber).
Soft fibers include jute, hemp, and flax. Alth-urh cotton is a seed
fiber it is grouped for statistical purposes with the soft fibers in
this report.

Honequen.- In point f quantity, henequen fiber is the most
extensively used fiber in t.rine.- and curdage manufacture in this crulitry,
owing to the large vamounts used in the marufactur, -'f binder tw:ine.
Hencqucn consists jf strands of fiber frcr 3 to 5 feet long, if a nearly
white or yellowish whito color, which arc derived frr. the leaves of
the henequen plant (Agevo fourcroydes). It is a str'g, coarse fiber
which is harder than sisal or abacc.'. Production of hencquen is largely
restricted tu the Yucatan Pcninsula of .Mexico, anJ to Cuba, although
small quantities are produced in Salvador and in jther :Lrce'.s in Mexicc.
About two-thirds cf the :iexican production is exported tc,- the United
States.14/ Besides being used for binder twine, it is used in small
ropes, wrapping twines, and in bags.

Sisal.- Closely alli';d 4ithl hcnequen in structure and usa is
sisal, a fiber lerivod from the sisal plsnt (AbavC sisalana). This
fiber is softer, loss woody ir. texture, and lighter in color than
henequen, and usually commands a higher price. Its principa-l use in
the United States is in wrapping tvrines, but it c-lso is used to a vary-
ing extent in binder tw;ine and snail rop:-s. In addition to cordage and
twine uses, it is used t. soie extent, either in this country or else-
where, in floor coverings, paddings for upholstery anr1 rv.ttresses,
plaster biard, bags, paper, and- so forth.

The most inp-rtnnt si. -,l-pr-ducin7 c-untries are British East
Africa ,nd the Dutch E-LSt I'TieO-, but quntities als: arc. produced in
other sections of Africa a.c. in Haiti. Sisal pro-uction has increased
*more than eightf0lld since 1920, in -.arkcd c-rtrtst t." prnducti-n of
henequon atich has renaincd. approximnatclyV str.ti-nary.

14/ Average 1935-37.



Table 1.- Averase annual pr-dluction of iosigratei fibers in the
World and in th. United States ar'l porccntagc -f World
production ccrsured in thC United States, 1954-38.

Wo: : Ur itcd : Concumed in tha
Fi: br: Stotcs United States
Fiber ructicn productionn: Tctal : Percrntaro cf
: / 2_/__ _/ :vrorld production
: illiun Million Million Pcrccnt


Hard fibers:
Honoqucn .
Sisal .
Abaca' ..
Other hard fibers .

pound s

70 4/



Total .

Soft fibers:
Cotton ..
Jute ..
Flax .. .. .
Hemp ..

Total .

S 1,184 0 415 35

14,200 6,077 .,090 22
3,924 0 777 20
1,713 1 1: 2
: 19 1 3 0 6/

a : 20.658



I/ Compiled fr-n official ?ublicatiJns, reports cf International
Institute of Asriculture, a:i(1 from annual rcii..s cf ;irglcsworth &
Company, Ltd.
_/ Compiled fror. "C)tt:-n Prcducticn cnd Distribution" and fr:-m records
of tho Bureau )f Plant Industry.
3/ As fojlows: Cotton, mill c(nsumoti-i; abaec', "other herd fibers,"
and her.p, qutntitirs I raw fiber nmale availablec fcr consuryticn; sisal,
hcn.quc.n, jute, and flix, quantities of raw ai' manufacturer fiber made
av-Ail..bh. for c. sur:ioz.n
4/ Includes ph,.rmi-aum, Philippire cantale. (maguey), ?Miauritius hemp, and
5/ Includes phrnni.uwn, ri-lucy, istlC.
L6/ Less than 0.5 percent.

Abaca'.- -br.ca' or Ilc-nila fiber is 'ftcn tern.cd the. best cordage
fiber bccojse it is longer, stronger, and m%.rc durable than the other
hard fibers. Brst grades of this fiber are of n. light buff, lustrous ,
colcr, ,' co-nsist of fine, even str.rids 6 to 12 fcct lonj. The fiber
is stripo'Ld front the ovcrf.ppi:-i[- leaf stons which form the stock of the
abaca' plant (Musa textilis), a typec of bai-na or pl1-ntain plant, the
yield of fiber agrc >-.tin_ orly ab. ut 1-1/2 percent to 2 percent of the
weight -:.f the grcon .ntcrial. Abac.' is cultivated in the Philippine
Islands and to limitcd extent in Sunatro.a m. Borneo. In addition,
snail quaintities n..w -re being: produced experincmentally in Pmanama. The
United States purchases 20 p.rccnt t- 27 percent cf the abaca' produced A



in the Philippines, chiefly of the higher rrades. Abaca' is rcfa-rded
as the most satisfactory mastorial aiovn for n-king ships' ropes, hoist-
ing ropes, and transmission ropes. It is used in the manufacture nf
wrapping twines and paper, r.nd has been used in the past in the manu-
facture cf binder twine.

Other hard fibers.- Cant tla (marucy), fror the leaves Of the
cautala plant (Agave cantala), cultivated in the Philippine Island and
in Java; phorniun ('ew Zealand fiber), frln the lea'res -f the harakekc
lily (Phormiun tonax) growing both wvrild and cultivated in New: Znealand
and under cultivation at St. Helcr.a; Mauritius hcmp, frcn thc leaves
of the pitcra plant (Furcraca Ligantea) on the IslT.8 :f :v"urjtius; and
istle or Tampico fiber, e.xtracted front the leaves if several species cf
Mexican plants which arc soncwrhat similar to th,. hzncquen plant, arc
other hard fibers used in thu manufacture of cordage and. ti-ine. They
are used for this purpose in limited quantities enly, usually nixedc
with other hard fibers, or v.iuh jute, and their cone1uiptibn yaries con-
siderably from year to yecr with cost ard availability of otir fibers.

Soft fibers.- In c:rmp,,rison v.with hard fibers, soft fibers col-
lectively occupy a less inrortoaIt position in the r.anufacture of twine
and cordage in thu United St'tos, only Cbout 20 percent of thu cordage
and 35 percent cof the twine (includir. binder twdnc) b,.in, mn.de from
those materials. With the exception of hemp, utilization of these
fibers in cordage and t ine is secondary inporta.nce as coui.ipared with
their utilization in toy:tiles.

V Table 2.- Estiminted c.nsulrption of dresigcnc-ted fibers in the nanu-
facturc of tvine and cordage ir the United. St -.tcs
during 1935 andc 1937. 1/

Fibcr 19S 1937
Si)Alicn pounds Tillion p-un-is
Hard fibers:
Henequen ...... 140 119
Sisal. ....... 62 82
Abaca' (Mnniia) 76 84
I a t l e 6 1. 1 0
Istle . .9 10
Other .. .. .. .. .. :5 6

Total ..... : 292 300

Soft fibers:
Cotton . .. : 89 118
Jute . 41 40
Flanx 2 3
Flap .... . 3 3
} i c n p . :3________3__

Total : 135 164
i/ Rough ostinatos based on production mid curnsuniption duta in Census
of Manufactures and on other infor:m-.tion.

- 9 -

-10 -

Cotton.- Cotton is, of course, the mraost important textile fiber
and in quantity produced and consumed exceeds all other plant fibers
combined. It is also the most important material used in cordage and
twine manufacture in this country from the standpoint of value, aud is
second only to henequen in quantity used. Although the cotton used in
cordage and twine is usually entirely of domestic origin, it is possible
that snail amounts of foreign cottons have been used in domestic ciardagpe
and twine man.ufa-cture during somo years.

Jute.- In qantity produced, jute is second only to cotton as a
plant f i&T. Jute consists of soft or bast fibers from two closely re-
lated plants, thG round-pod jutc (Corchorus capsularis) and lUng-pod
jute (Corchorus olitorius), both of which arc cultivated in India6 parti-;
cula.rlv in Bengal. The fibers are light yellow to ner.rl, white or
bright copper to deep slate, changing with ago to dingy brovmn or gray.
Jut, is rdlativcly weak as comp-prrod with other bast fibers d-nd is not
very resistant to moisture conditions. Roughly, 80 percent of the jute
imported into the Uuitcd States is in manufactured form, principally as
burlap. Of the raw fiber imi.orted, about 80 p.-rccnt is manufactured
into bagging, webbing, carrp-?ts, yarns, and rovec for various uses, and
r.boi.t 20 rurcent into tw.-inc. Utilization in cordage is inconsequential.

Flux.- Although flax is one of the most important plant fibers
its use in the Unitcd States is relatively small, comprising only 2 per-
cent of the World's production. Flax is a soft or bast fiber obtained
from the inner bark of thL fC',lx plant (Linum usitatissimum), which is
cultivated for fibur principally in Russia and the Northern European
countries. In Uorth Ancric._, small amounts are grown in Canada and in
Oregon. The fiber is of dark gray, bluish green, or creon white color,
depending on reparvtion, makes a strong light strand, and withstands ..
moisture well.

About two-thirds of tlic flax imported into the United States is
in the- fornm of manufacturedd or sc.-minanufacturod goods. Of the raw fiber
m,.ufac.,.irc.d in thi. country, roughly 25 percent is made into twines end
fishlincs, and 75 p crccnt into thr'.ad, towelings, and other *oven goods* .
An inconsequential quantity of cordagc also is made from this material*"

He-"p.- Although hcrmp vms the most important fiber used in cordage
and twine until about t.hu riddle of thL last century, its use at present
is relatively small. It 5s coursur, loss flexible fibnr tlhan flax, but
is strong c.nd durable, though not so res.st-nt to s-lt water as abaca'.
It is derived from the in-:a r bark of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa),
which is cultivated chiefly ir tLle Soviet Union, Italy, Yugoslavia,
Rounania, and Chosen, =_d to ". minor cxtcrt in Fcntuciyv -nd Wisconsin
in this country. Principal uses at prc sent are in wrapping, r-rttress,
sewing, and broom tvincs, in halibut lines, and in hemp cordage used
on: ships.

1i -

The ITanufacturing Proccss

Although differing somewhat with the kind of fiber, the process
by which raw fiber is converted into cordage .rd tv!n.re consists
essentially of three operations: (1) Prcparation of the fiber, (2)
spinning, and (3) twisting or braiding the required number of yarns
into the finished twine or cordage. In the preparation processes, the
fibers are separated, cleaned of foreign matter, strAig;itcnd u.nd laid
parallel, and overlapped, so as to compose. a "sliver" or "roving" of
the required size for spinning. With fibers other thcn cotton, a soften-
ing or lubricating emulsion is added during this process so that the
fibers will work more easily on the spinning machines, ,nd to improve
certain properties of the product.

Following preparation, the sliver or roving enters the spinning
process where "t-wist" is imparted and the "yarn" is spun. If a tv.inc
of single-thread construction is being uado, the manufacturing process
is completed at this point. Other-vise the yarns arc "tv;istcd" or
"formed" into strands which ra.y be used in this form or may be twisted
again, or braided, with other stror.ds to form twinc or cordage.

During one or norn of the "-bovc operations, the cordage or twine
may be oiled, tarr.d, polished, or finished with starches and waxes, or
otherwise treated for the purpose of preventing rotting, increasing
strength or smoothness, or prevon-inE bacterial action. These treat-
ments increase the weight of the product by 2 percent to 15 p-rcent.
As a final step the product is wound on cones, balls, tubes, or reels,
or is put up in skeins, coils, etc.

A fiber loss ranging from roughly 6 percent to 15 percent or
higher, by weight, occurs during the meanufs.cturinp- process, the loss
depending on the type and grr.de o).' fiber used nd onl the r..rade of
product being manufactured. All but a. fraction. of 1 percent of this
loss occurs prior to spinILing. Tnc a.vcraLe p'-.rccentage of fiber loss
in manufacture of corda6ge ud tv.in.. is shorn ii tile following, figures./

Fiber Percentage of loss

.-anila 6
Sisal 6
Henoquen 10-12
Istle 12-15
Jute 10-15
Flax 8
Hemp 15-20
Cotton 15

l/ Rough avc.rage Jliffcrnccs bet.recn wciFht of rawv fiber
used and vwecight of fiber content tif proc ict. Basrd on
estimates of m-anufacturcrs.


12 -


Cordage -and tw.inc a.ro rianuftcturcd for a wide variety of uses
and coanscqucntlv thny ranre in size from largc ropes, 6 inches in
diritcr, suitable for to.'ins v ss.-ls, t- thin cotton twiones with a
breaking strength of only 3 pounds. Requiroecints for individual uses
arC noet by making a choice of fibers, fiber qualities, ard construc-
tions, paving attention a.t all times tc the noocssitv of finding a
product which vAill pc rfrnm its t-.sk adequately .nd at miimurn, cost.

One of the n-,st inporta-nt si..glt charaLctcristics of ccrdcge and
tv-inc, so far as gaugir.g their phyical suitr.bflity for va-ricus uses
is cuncumrnd, is br.a.king streingth. In attcrpting to classify those
products, wec ther.cfore r.y note th'.t a-baca.' (harii") corda-r Cad twine
ire gcir-cl used w., 'n maxiniun rtrcngth' is rcqa.ir-d, follo,-cd succes-
sively by coreagn anc tvirc nado of sis-cal anC hLncqurn, hnmp and flax,
u=d cotton and jute, as breaking, strcngt,. brcct..us Lf less iiiportance.
It should be str- ss:d, ho-.-cv. r, thv.t breakiag str,-crgth docs not always
ir.dicatc the strcangth uwd.. r L.ctual use c .-ndltiors, since cordagd and
tvinec of some tp.Tes lose nere strength when knottedr or flexed than
others. Tt a.lso should be stressed thv.t brer.ki: g str-ngth is only one
standard for cw.:p-.pari sn aC.d tl.-t thor conditio-s. such aG -durability,
flexibilit.r, softness, t-n! weight, arc often of equal cr grLc.tcr in-
pcrtn.cc. For i;Lst.'ncLc, the flexibility and s-.ftness cf cotton cordage
are cf grec-ter ii..port^-cc in Ve.ietic.n-blird cords th'.n the greater
strength of -Athr t:vpcs Af criL.,go.

During 1937, production -f :'.11 typcs t.f cordae,. and twine in the
Uritrd States totalccd 196 riilliiin rounds value ca.t 74 r.iilidr dollars.
Of this total, 315 nill.ior p-un-'lswore nalo ofa ab-ca', -sisci, henequen,
and ether liar, fibers; 100 million pounds of cotton; 50 million pounds
of iute, hcnp, flax, etc. ; %ti& 1 u million pouunds of pr.per. Principal
proAucts 'nanufr.-turer., in percentages of total production and value,
'.rc shovwr in table 5.

.Table 3.- i"'--.ductir.n f specified tynes ..f twine *md cordage in
the United States .93ring '937 in p-.rcrontc.a.es cf t-ta! production -rd value.
Tw:ine or Qu..-.ntity : Value
^^^ n^ "rd:-.i~eprocd'icce 'iu
I Prgert Percent
Hard-fiber binder tiino .. 32 16
Other hr.rd-fiber tw-.no .. i .
Hard-fiber cordage ...... 21 22.
Tta1. . 64 46
Cotton twine . 15 26
Cotton cordauo ........ 1 5 10
T.t. . 20 36
Jutu, flax, hcmp, etc., tmins : 10 14
Hemp aid oth.-r c-.'rdgo / 1
Total .. 10 15
Paper twin, total ...... 6 3
Gr-.nd total ....l. : 100 100
L_ Less than 0.5 percent.
C' T P J

- 13 -

Cordage Products

Production of cordage comprised 27 percent of the total produc-
tion of cordage end twine during 1937 and totaled 132 million.poumds,
valued at 24 million dolla.rs. Cordage is defined as "ropos and, cor-Is
in gencral" i&/ and is distinguished from tw:ino, according to usual
acccptrnoc, in that it is three-sixteenths of an inch in diamctcr or
greater. Types of cordage n.onufactured an] their unit value, front the
standpoint of fibers used, are iven in table 4.

Table 4.- Production and value per pournl, by types, -,f c-)rds.g[c
manufacturcd in the United States during 1937.

Prod.ucti'-r : Areragc
:, :Percentge :value per
:Quantity: f t-.tal : poiud
a : +l t.Tcs: /
Million PL-rcr nt Cents

Abaca' (Manila) total or av~r-:c 88.1 67 16
First gradeu (pure) .. 56.5 43 16
Second and lower grades (pure) 19.0 14 14
Higher grades and spccialiti-s : 12.C 10 19

Sisal and honequen, total o-r average 7.9 6 10
First gradc . 2.6 2 11
Second and lower 'rados .. 5.3 4 10

All other hard fibers, sisal soccial-
ties, and .abaca' mixed with o-ther
hard fibers .......... 8.6 6 16

Total cr average, :11 har- fibers 104.5 79 16

Hemp . . .2 38

Cotton . : 27.2 21 -26

All other . 3/ /
Total or avrragr, hemp and c.-tton 27.4 21 26

Total, all types ........... 132.0 100 --

_/ Average selling v.lu.-, :.t factory.
2 Less than 0.5 percent.
3 Quartity not reported.
Compiled front Census if v. iaufactures.

15/ Now Standard Dictionary.


14 "

Abaca' cordage.- Production of abaca' (rlnila) cordage exceeds
that of all othar types of cordage combined both in quantity and total
value. This type of cordage is used for the majority of general rope-
requiring purposes, particularly where maximum strength and durability
is needed as in marine cordage, hoisting and transmission ropes, and
drilling cables. It is manufactured in various grades, ranfing from
"yacht" and "bolt" ropes which are made from the finest fib(r, through
first-grade or "standard Manila," to typos krovan as second-grade p-nd
third-grade Yanila. "!ost abaca' cordage is of 3-strand construction
with an oil content of from 10 percent to 15 percent, but there are
other constructions and specially treated types for special purposes.
A large number of sizes are manufactured ranging fro-m three-sixteenths
of an inch to 4 inches or more in di=reter. (Table 5.) As is noted in
table 4, two-thirds of all cordage manufactured in 1937 was .ade from

Table 5.- Diameoter, length per unit of weight, and
breaking strength of designated cordage. l/

Dietcr Feet per : Breaking
T : pou.d : strength
Type :Finest :CoarseSt ",Fincst:Coc.rscst:Finest:Coarsest
: size : size : size : size : size : size
:Inches Inches : Feet Feet :Pounds Pounds

No. 1 Manila j2/ 3/ 3/16 4 : 67 0.23 450 105,000
Hemp, small tarred :
ropos : : 360 10.0 : 105 2,400
Cotton rope : 1/8 1 200 5.5 : 120 5,100
Cotton, braided sash :
cord .. : 3/15 3/8 : 66 19.5 : 225 560

I/ Indicating specifications fcr finest and coarsest sizes of e-ch type
in common use, :,s indicated by fedcerl Specifications.
j Applies to 3-strand rop2.
No specifications arc available for other t-oes of h.rd-fiber cordage,
but according to the trdc Lhcy h:.vr the following approxirntc tensile
strengths, considering No. 1 ani-ja's strength v.s s10 l prc,-rt: Yacht
and bolt (Manila), 110 ocrccnt; ro. 2 't.it., 90 percent; NTo. I ris"!
(Java sisal and comparable fibers), 7r; Mo. 2 sis'l, (h,.ncqucn an.d com-
parable fibers), 65.

Other hard-fib, r cordag,,-- A.: a:-lditional 12 TIrccnt of thc
cordagrL manufactured during 1937 wa.s nadc from hard f'ib('rs cthlcr than
abaca'. Of this qucantity, about hv.lf corsir.tsLr of ts s and henc.qucn
cordage and about half of cordagc nadc. from "all oth.r harC' fibers,
sisal spLcialtiCs (vrirc-ropc ccit- rs, itc.) a.nc' abac,.' L-ixt d xitS other
hard fibers." These types rc available at loancr cost than sir:lar
abaca' cordage -nd serve purposes in v.nich th. high r streCnth and
durability of bac-' arc not iZpr-atively needed. Spccicl typis include
lariat rope, raft ropes for tying logs tcgcth~r, haIltr ropes for
animals, and clothes lines.

- 15 -

Hemp and jute cordage.- Minor quantities of cordage also are
made from hemp and jute. Rcmp cordage is generally tarred and although
it possesses excellent qualities it is expensive. It once was the
dominant type of cordage, but its use in this country at present is
confined raninly to small auxiliary ropes on board ships. Sizes in
common use in the United States range from loss than three-sixteenths
of an inch to about one-half inch in diameter with breaking strengths
of from about 105 to 2,400 pounds.

Jute cordage is much loss expensive than hemp and has been used
in the past for general purposes requiring small ropes. Its lack of
durability, low tensile strength, and poor resistance to moisture greatly
limit its use, and only a snail quantity now is manufactured.

Cotton cordage.- In addition to the types discussed above, a
considcrabl-e quantity of cotton cordage is produced. Principal uses
of cotton cordage are as clothes lines, windowsash cords, and plot
lines. However, a largo proportion of the production is used for a
variety of purposes like awnings, holding up fishing nets, on ship-
board, and in various manufYctured articles. This type of cordage is
discussed in greater detail later.

Binder Nuino

Binder twine is single-ply, hard-fiber twine used with binders
for automatically tying bundles of the various small grains, flax, and
grass-seed crops, and corn during V.rvcsting. O:ring to its unique use
in harvesting these crops, it is used in lirg:r quantities in this
country than all other types of tjinc coiribined. During 1937, produc-
tion of binder twine totaled 158 million pounds or 32 percent of the
total production of cordage and twine. Of this quantity, 43 million
pounds was manufactured by State-ownedL prison industries.

Nearly all of the binder twine produced domestically at present
is made of :hunequen or sisal. Other hard fibers, including abaca', istle,
sunm, and phormium, also have bcen employed for this purpose at times
when price and other considerations favored their use. Hcnequen and
sisal cr-e usually the chief component fibers of the two principal grades
of domestic binder twine, which arc known as "White Sisal" and "Standard",
and which have a length per unit of weight of 500 feet to the pound.
Binder twine in other grades avrragcs up to 650 feet to the pound.

In the manufacturing process, binder twine is spun on "long line"
machinery directly from the sliver of the -rvarious hard fibers. The
twine is oiled when spun, resulting in the finished product having a
nonfiber content of 1.5 percent to 18 percent. It is sold in brlls,
weighing 5 and 8 pounds each, packed in burlap bags of n.pprcxiratcly
50 pounds gross weight.



Twine Other Th-m Binicr Twine

Production of all types of twine other thL--r. binder twine oor-
prised 42 percent of the totnl production of cnrd-ge and twrinc during-
1937, totaling 207 million pounds valued o.t 38 million .ollars. Soft-
fiber twvrine na-ln up the bulk -f this production althou.-h h-rd-fibcr
twine was of grratcr rjnprt-ncc than in fornmcr yVn'-rs. Cotton t-rire was
the most inpcrtr.nt single type produced, comprising one-third of the
total quantity produced a.nd onu-ht-df of its value. Proc'uctior and
average value p(r pound of the various tjpes arc as ivcn in table 6.

In general, the finest, lightest twines arf- ncmade from cotton
an' the coarsest, heaviest twines fror. hard fibers. Jute, flax, and
hemp tilnes occupy intenrrodiatc p sitions be-t-.wcen the two, overlapping
in size with the coarser cotton. tuinus rand th, finer ha-rd-fiber twins.
Some indication of thu relationship betw:ee twines jiado from various
fibers is indicated by table 7, shoring the limits of breakinC strength
andr length per unit of weight for tvwines in corron use. It should be
noted that a.s -his tablo does not take into consideration other important
factors, it does not fully indicate coFOetitivc relationships between

Hard-fiber twines.- In conparison with other twines, hard-fiber
twines are used when a compar.Atively high strength is the outstanding
requirement, as f.r heac-y, bulky packages. A considerable variety of
these twines are nomanufactured, ranging front 750 to 23 feet per pound
in length per unit of weight and fror. 85 tc 1,550 ocund2s in breaking

H.rd-fibcr tvines are 'ivie('. into fi-7e classes in ,.cccrdc-nce
with the kind cf fib.r use, but v:ith the oualificati)n that the class
designations are "not intoneedc t.) c-nvey-i the impression" that they "are
made exclusively fr-'m the fiber nrnc:d."16,/ Mre than three-fourths of
the production is -f the Class II or J..,va sisal grnre and on additional
15 percent is rf th,.e Cl.ss IV (oexican sisal) grade or cf the Class V
grade which is designated .s "containing at least 65 percent cf istle,
and worked cn harQ.-fiber n.j.chirery." The renc-inder consists ,f snail
quantities uf Class i (> nila), Class III (Nei- Z.'alrxnd), -nd -ther
hard-fiber twines, including those which :--re ap-r-ccv, crec.L/

Juto t-.rinus.- Occupyir.g a. p.,sition between har.'l-fiber and cotton
twines ir size anc'. breaking strc--L.th, jute tarin...s arc av-.ilablc for a
largc ra-ge of packaging rcquircrcnts. I.- gcnc-r.l th'; co.rsc-r jute
twines are comparable ii t,.nsilc strcnEbth vwith the fi:Acr sizes of

16J Bureau .f Standards: Har& Fib-Lr T,-inz and Lath Yarn. Simplified
Practice Roconrmi.enation, R-92-38, 1938.
7_' Indivi'ual. sizes ..f h:rd-fibtr tv.ics .re -'esign-,tcd by the size cf
ya.rn us.d in fuct p.nr ?ou':v, ,.i2 by t'he- nu.bcr of ply as, for instance,
"900 feet 2 ply", 'tc. Theyc also a.rc dcsirnatuLd as "twisted" or "laid,*
"laid" indicating thrt the yarns wcrc -,ivL.n -si extra twist while being
plied into t'rine. Tlhe xtr- twist is to ,. recent tic tv.anr from untwist-


Table 6.- Production and value per pound of twines
(other than binder twines) manufactured in
the United States during 1937

Kind : : Percentage:
:Quantity of total:

per pound

Hard fiber:
Class I (Manila) .................... 0.1
Class II(Java sisal) 2g/ ................ 42.4
Class IV(Mexioan sisal) .............
Class V(Containing at least 65).
percent istle and worked on
hard-fiber machinery) ........... ) 7.9
Other ................................... 2.5

Total hard fiber ........... :

Soft fiber:
Cotton ..............................
Flax / ............................ :
Hemp ....................... :
Jute .............................. :
Jute and istle, mixed ..............
Flax and hemp, hemp and jute mixed...:
Other soft fiber ... ............... :

Total soft fiber ............

Paper ................................. .

Total twine ............... .






Compiled from Census of Manufactures, 1937.

Less than 0.5
Includes small quantity of
Includes 131,470 pounds of
Value of flax twine only;

Class III, New Zealand.
"linen fishline."
"linen fishline" valued at $6.44 per pound.












Table 7.- Breaking strength aid length por unit
of weight of designated tvwnes. /

Fooct per : Breakling
Tvino pound : strength
: size : size : size : size
: Foot Fact :Pnunds Pounds

Cotton, unpolished, first grade .: 6,834 669 : 6 69
Cotton, unpolished, second gradc -4,830 717 : 8 48
Cotton, polished .. : 4,820 250 : 11 160
Cotton, seine (unpolishe'1) : 3,460 65 12 600

Flax, unfinished .. : 2,280 1,140 : 32 80
Henp, fint, finished : 1,710 243 : 27 228
Hemp, fine, unfinished 1,283 570 : 37 100

Jute, wrapping, sail, etc. : 1,710 285 : 20 115
Jute, finished .' ... .: 1,620 65 25 450
Jute, tube rope, bale rope, etc. : 425 60 : 65 420

Hard-fiber, Class I (-ianila) 432 153 115 385
Hard-fibur, Class II (Java Sisal) .: 750 23 : 85 1,550
Hard-fiber, Class III (New Zealand) 510C 90 : 102 466
Hard-fiber, Class IV (Mexican sisal).: 510 23 : 92 1,160
Hard-fiber, Class V (Istle, mixed) 405 23 : 90 930

I/ Indicating specifications for finest airf "coarsest sizes of each
type in corninon use. Breaking strength for flax, honemp, and jute tines
are nininun requirements. For other twines 'they arc approximate
averages. Data for cotton tvwincs cunpil6d fror trade catalogs and
price lists. Dat-. f.r -thr twines cc.npilcd ifron Sirplificd Practice
Recouriendations of the Burce-u c f StLr.dards.

hard-fibnr twines, although thLy are not so strnr as the? cot-rsost hard-
fiber twines. Liklevrise, fine jute twi-ics crnpare in yardage per pound
with rodium an'1 c arse cotton twvincs, although thev do nct have so great
a yardage ncr pound t.s the fincsb cf the cr-tt'.r. twines.

About 25 percent cf the total pr ducti.n ,f jutc t-incs is
"finished" C-r polished with a sizin solution. This procc.ss cements
the fibers together and glazes the outside cf the tn.rine, resulting in
improved sn.:ct!:noss t-nd! appearance. Finishcl j-ute twines are used
principally for tying pack-fes, the finer sizes being used on snma.ll
retail and parcel post ccntr"incrs and th. coarser sizes on hc.avir
packages, such as wh-ilossalc an(A cypress c -ntaincrs. They also arc
used for tyin -tags, fastenin, srin, s in furniture, strin.;iAk hems
and sides of bacon in ncat-Packinb cstablish-.xnts, t.nd for other varied

- 19 -

Unpolished jute tivines are designated by names which are indica-
tive of their original use. For instance, finer unpolished twines are
designated as "wrapping," "sail," seeingg," "mill her's or "baling"
twine, while the intermediate sizes are knov-m es "tube rope" s.nd the
heavier sizes as "paper-maker's bale rope," "pipe cord," cr "hide rope."18/
Tube rope was originally made for bundling pipt an d metallic tube but
most of the demand for this product is now for bundling paper, corru-
gated boxes, magazines, and for tying automobile tires, furniture,
clothing, packages, and so forth. Greatest demand for the huoavicr
twines is still from paper manufacturers but these tvdines a.re used
also for wrapping cornnmoiities comparable to those on which tube rope
is used.

Hemp and flax twines.- Hemp and flax twines are manufactured
in about the snr.'e size and weight range, roughly, as fine e-nd medium-
size jute twines but offer considerably gre-ter strength, durability,
and flexibility. HoreTorr, they arc higher priced th,-n oth. r twines
and are used onlv vwhen their spccir.l qu,.lities arc suffeicintly in
demand to justify th-ir higher cost. Finished h-r.ip twines ore manu-
factured in four qualitics--th-.-' "AA Italian" and "B Aroricon," which
are made from. ure her.p; and t'-.he "AB Italian" and "BC" or "BC Amrican",
which are made from hemp mixed with jute. Most of the finished hemp
twine production is of the AB italian type. Unfinished he.p tvwines
arc classified into first an- second gr.dos of "Italian" and "Amcrican"
hemp construct-ton. IIc:p tvj,'.nus arc used as mattress t-ines, tufting
twines, broom" =nd brush twines, for fastening springs in the manufac-
ture of furniture c.nd upholstery, eind for certain other purposes.

Flax twines are used in the manufacture of brooms, for serving
bags and other articles, in fishlin.:s ind fish ncts, and on Jacquard
weaving equipment in tectile mills. In the size range in which they
arc mLan.nufactured, from 1,140 to 2,230 feet pc-r pound, they off'cr
greater strength than any other t'. in s.

Cotton twines.- In tcnsil'.- strength and ya.rdc.ge per pound, the
medium and coarser sizes of cotton twines are comparcblc with the
finer and medium sizcs of jutJ t.,ines. However, finer cotton t.vines
are not comparable vdth any other type Fince they arc the only twines
sold commercially which have a length of more th:.n 2,300 feet per
pound of weight. Cotton twines arc manufactured in c. large range of
sizes in both polished 2nd unpolished constructions and are available
for a large number of uses, but arc usod principally for tying light
packages. These tvi:es arc discussed in drtail lctr.

L8/ Specifications for jute t".wi:rs ar.: given in Simplified Practice
Recormendations R-110-29 (193%?) of t-1Y Purcru of Stcndrrds on "Soft
Fiber (jute) Twine." Indivi!url sizes of unpolished jute twine are des-
ignated by the yarn v:cight in pounds -nrid bv the nurbr,-r of ply, as
for example, "12-pound 2-ply." The ve'n -'rric-ht is b-scec on the
Scotch Spindle Syctre, -nd is th'- w',ciht in pounds of 43,200 feet of
yarn. Finished jute twines are designated by arbitrary numbers com-
parable to those used for finished hump tv.ines.

20- I

Paner twincs.- An incrcoasirg ormount of pjapc.r twine is being
nonufacturd. Production toward nilion pounds d as vlud at
neaoirly 2 million dollars during g 1937. Undoubtedly most of the paper
'tvinc manufactured is converted into -_rticlcs such as woven paper
bege and imitation rattan furniture. In addition, accordiziC to trader
estimr'Ates, considerable quentitics crc used r.: electrical insu.'ation :
twine, fleece t-.'/inc, handle cord, automobile tacking strip, and scam-
ing cord. P-Cper tw-iin, is used for electrical insulation boc-.usc of ,|
its high dialcctric resistance vnd because- of the stiffness and
resiliur.oy it -divcs to the electrical product. Paper fleece twine is
usejd for tyinE fIlcucc a s it is clipped from shLcp, ad is recorasended f
for tins purpos, as a.y fra-gncnt "vlich becomes rixed v'ith the .ool .
will b( dissolv,.d in the scouring process. Eaindlc cord is used for 1
hanles o"r. paper shopping bats, and som.ing cord for socs in upholstery
Automobile. tacking strip is rot strictly a twirc but a shaped, noldod
product and is used as its nc.nc indic-tes.
as its


Cordage Lund Twine Other Than Binder Twire *

Exclusive of binder tv.inc, T.hich is considered supar.toly owing
to spoci,-l factors C'o(crnin: its production andA usc, the tot"2l produc-
tion of cordrgc -anM t-inc during 1'..9%7 -VIs 339 million pounds, valued at
62 million dollars. This tot.-l v:ws 7.pproxijnatrly eqiyal to the prodiuc-
tion duri,_g the census --crs of 1909, 1914, an,' 10P191; wr..s considerably
sixller than the.p otak production of 407 million ooun-s in 1--92,9; but was
con'.si-1crabl:y l-rgor th.-i tho total of only ?53 million pounds during
1951 (table 8). In g'ncral, it -iy bc said thrt tct,.l production, ex-
elusive of binder twine, has showvm little or no sustCined increase dur-
inKc the Ipst 30 years, and that it has lagged behin' in cornarison with
tr(nds in th-L total industrial production of the nourtry ard considering
increases in population. tl

ThIis picture oe. not hold true of -11 typcs (f cordoge and twine
as so:e .avu increased in importance v:hilc others have decreased. For
instance, production cf cotton cordage rnd twine now; conpriscs 29 per-
cent of tn'.< tom-c.l pro.uctior. o:f cordafc an.l t.drne (exclusive of binder
twi-A) us cnp'-ir,.. v.ith 16 pcrc(-it in7 1514 an- in 1919. Production of
cotton tn.in--- w-.s nora thar. twice ..s lart.c durir. 1937 (73.3 million
pounds) :.s in 19&19 (35.3 million poi.l's) but wL-s lass than in 1929 (88.1
million pOuids). Proc'uctior of cotton cordager incrcasod less rapidly
between 1919 (17.7 -illion pounds) and 1937 (27.2 million pounds) but
likccv,'iso v.as at a r- axir.ui, in 1929 (25.1 million.powuds) (table 9).

Other trun's in the production of cordage and twine during recent-
years include: (1) A decline in the production of abaca' (Manila)
cordaLc frori the lev_.Is prevailin- during the World War period ind during
1925-29, (z) an almost ccnplete disappearance of jute cordage from use .
since 1929, "-id (3) same increase in the production of hard-fiber twines
(other than binder trrin9) during the last few years. i


- 21 -

Table 8.- Quantity Lnd value of corcagc ard twine exclusivee of
binder twine and of cotton ccrd.Lgc and twinc mrnnufacturcd
in the United States during dcsignati.d years, 1899-1937.


Val uo

Year : Cordage : Cotton :Percontage:
: and : cordage : mado of :
: twine :and twine: cotton :
Million million Percent :
: pounds pounds

1899 190o 22' -
1909 : 336 58 17
1914 : 522 50 16
1919 : 356 55 16
1921 : 233 ..
1923 : 358 63 18

1925 340 76 22
1927 : 373 93 25
1929 : 407 116 29
1931 : 254 69 27
1933 262 87 33
1935 : 279 76 27

1937 : 339 100 29


19 '



: Cotton :Percontage
: cordage : made of
:and tvrine: cotton
Million Perccnt





2 G

I/ Does

not include cor.a,

prc&'uccd in cottoiL -Ws in.'ustry.

Compiled from C,.nsus if Elanufacturcs.

As shown in figure 1, fluctugtionc fror. yeL.r to year in produc-
tion of cordage and twiine acconpLny similar fluctuations in the output
of all manr-ufacturing industries. If the- index of incustrial. production
is high, as it v.n-s in 1937, production cf cordage and twine also is
large. This is not unusual in view cf the utilization of cordage and
twine in a vride rmngc of industrial activities.

Production tr,:ends dCiffcr front consumption trends as part of the
production is exported and pa:rt of the constumption is imported from
foreign sources. Although norc crdc'gc and txinc other than binder
twine was exported than LIas imported before 1927, the opposite has been
true during th,- last fc-. years. Im-ports rose stcadily after 1916, in-
creasing from 1.5 million pounds ,:urin- th-t v\ ar to 17.9 million
pounds in 1929. Since 1E29 they have ranged between 7.6 (1938)
and 13.4 (1935) million pounds per ycar. Early all of th cordage
and twine imported is "f hard fib.r, but snall quantities :f inp-rts
are made of jute, flax, and hemp. In n;'>ition, there arc a fer" irprts
of cotton cordage and twine, particulorlrr f s-inc twino, but these are
not shoun separately by foreign c-or-'-.rcec statistics.

of coAdage a taWine in the United States

1 i999 -.
i Million* X,
a poundsi 91

3 3 I I t 3 3 I
1909 1914 t 1919 s .1921 1923 1925 t 1927 t 1929 1 1931

Ilion Killion Killion llion Million Killion Million Million Killion I
ovmA4 pounds MxouAftf v<> s pwd s youztto pomaAs on | a -paamod _1



1 7.3


0ord.!Lg ]/ i t "
*Ab~ae (Manila beep) .......... 8?.3
31sa waA Benelua ........... 1 4.9
Cotton ....................... 10,
jut ........................ 1M.O
Othe ................... _. ..
ToUl cordage ........ 1 141.

Hard fiber binder ............../ 165.6
Other hBr& fiber w ......... w
Cot ton V ............:...... 1 20
Jruf ......................... g ,1-7
F) 61 m t /..................... ** 38

Production of cordage and twine
400 (other than binder twine) -- __ 400
(Millions o/ pounds) l ,-

300 0

--200 ----- .----- ------ 200

o p Output of all
-~ manufacturing industries
S(ia99ioo 0)

100 /-- 00


50 --------_--I- ____ ----------------

Production of cotton
40 cordage and twine
30 (Millions of pounds)

20 ____
1899 1909 1914 1919 1923 1927 1931 1935 1939



Production of cordage and twine varies considerably from
year to year in accordance with factors such as the state of in-
dustrial activity. Although production of cotton cordage and
twine increased considerably during the last 30 years, total pro-
duction of cordage and twine (except binder twine) remained at a
stationary level.

"::: : '"": "" j"






0 o


200 1 1 1 1 -- ---1--


o wooo


1899 1909 1914 1919 1923 1927 1931 1935 1939


Although production of twine has shown an upward trend dur-
ing the last 30 years, production of cordage has declined. Cotton
twine production increased from 1914 to 1929 but has failed since
to equal the record of the latter year. Cotton cordage production
has followed a more stable, level trend but likewise reached a
maximum in 1929.


- 25 -

Exports of twine and cordage other than binder twine increased
from about 10 million pounds a year before the World War to a naximui.
of noro than 20 million pounds -in M19. They remained above the pre-
l war level during the 1923-29 period, but since 1931 have ranged between
l only 3.8 million pounds (1932) and 6.6 rilliun jpcuncds (1937) a year.19/
Exports of cotton cordage ani tvwnc varied during the sane period be-
lttween 2.2 million pounds (1935) and 3.0 million pounds (1937) a year.

Total exports of cordage and twine other than binder twine have
never totaled more than 4 percent as much nor total imports more than
3 percent as much as the tot-l production. Consequently, trends in
the consunpti 'n -if cordage and t.dnc have differed only slightly jr
n)t at .ll frrn trends in the production of these products. However,
imports of hard-fiber ccrdagro rnd twine -thor than binder twine probably
totaled about 10 percent as much as the domestic production .f these
products during 1939. Cotton twine and cordage exports equalled only
3 percent as much as the dCoestic production in 1957.

Binder Twinc

v Because of the unique use -f binder twine in harvesting certain
agricultural crops, trends in the production end c.rsur.pticn of this
product differ c msiderably fro- trends in the production of cordage
and twine other than binder twine. Pr.-ductir-.n "f binder twine has
been characterized by a con.tinueo': d.-wnvrar'. trcnd1 f ^r nore than two
decades and the tutal of 158 million pounds which was produced by both
private and prison industries in 1937 was only slightly more than half
the 302 million pounds manufactured by private industry alone in the
peak year of 1914 (table 10). Despite this decline, bind-r twine com-
prised 32 percent cf the total production 'f ccrda{,c and twine during

The decline in d-nestic manufacture of binder twine is explained
in part by the disappearance of a substantial export market in binder
twine and by the marked increase in imports from foreign countries.
Exports -f binder twine declined from 109 million pounds in 1914 to
less than 10 million pounds annually during the last 6 years. Imports
of binder twin increased from 11 million pounds in 1925 to 75 million
pounds in 1936, 56 million pounds during 1937, and 50 .million pounds
in 1939. Principal countries fr.- which binder twine is imported' at
present are Mexico, ifethcrlands, Belgiu., Canada, Cuba, and Great
Britain; anw the principal countries to which it nonv is exported are
Argentina and the Union of South Africa.

19/ Inport quantities quoted refer to c-mnbine& imports for c-nsunp-
tion of (1) hard-fiber cordage and twine other than binder twine;
(2) flax, hemp, andr ranie thread, twine ani cordage; and (3) jute
cordage, twine, and twist. Export quantities quw'te-. refer to total
domestic experts of (1) cordage, oxccept binder twine, except of
cotton or jute; (2) cotton twbine and cordage; (3) and jute yarn,
cordage, and twine.

- 26 -

Table 10.- Binder twine production, imports, exports, and quantity
riade available for consumption, EUnited SLttes,
c,'nsus years, 1899-1937.

: Imports for : Do-.,istic : MLade available
Year : Production : consumption : e::ports : for consumption

-qTr-io 1Ti on Milliion Pillion
S pounds pounds pounds poun-s

1899 166 2 4/
1909 189 14 3 /
1914 : b02 7 1.09 200 5
1919 : 230 13 69 174
1921 236 5 59 182
1923 295 6/ 13 74 234
1925 290 6/ 11 54 247

1927 228 6' 16 19 225
1929 : 226 6' 19 17 228
1951 : 186 6/ 23 10 199
1933 : 200 j 48 6 242
1935 166 6' 56 6 216
1.371 ]158 6' 58 5 2a1

i/ For fiscal y;ar: prior to 1919.
2_' Prub'uctic. blus importt, minus exports.
_/' lot -':por-cd scp-ratcly until 1910.
SNo c..ta.
j, Prodri..:tion for -t"lnndr ar.r 1914 plus imports end minus evorts
for fise- y'.'" -:nd d Juno 3., 1914.
6/ Inc .i 0 s fc'llovwini amounts mlanLfactured in prisons: (in millions
0i' DOU'i.'.,) 19.7, 55 3; 1925, 56.3; 1927, 57.8; 1929, 47.3; 1931, 52.2;
b33, b'7.1; 1W9, 57.3; 1937, 42.8.

Compiled from Census of I'-.-nufcturos aid from Foreign Conrcerce and
Pr.vigation of th<- Tinit.-d States.

Ar-thor factor c'ptriboutirg to the do"-nvw.rd trnnd in birder
twine pr-liuctio.n has beon V decline in the dorn-:tic demand. Th5 s re-
sulted ,r-ir'arilv frori +lhe decrcasinL use of binders attendant upon
the increa-ing usc of' combines (hervcstc r-thrcslic rs). It is estimated
that on]y O0 "crcent of the total vcrage of small -rains in the United
Status is now harvested with binders as compared with 85 percent in
1920. At thu sunme time, totas ucretge of these crops has decreased.
As a r:.sult ofl' thcsc charng(s, annual consumption of binder twine is
estimated to have d'clincd from L-bout 250 million pounds in the period
1918-20 to about 175 million pounds at present.



300 production %\


9 \

250 Toga
I i l -production
a IF

pI l o

routoof bide \wn nteUie ttshsdcie
200 I --\

trmedosl sic 191 masters f()th nraigueo
a I

'n he acrae oIsalGancos 3 oso xotmres n
150 tooasdi---
0 1


^L JLImparts

1899 1909 1914 1919 1923 1927 1931 1935 1939



Production of binder twine in the United States has declined
tremendously since 1914 as the result of (1) the increasing use of
combines (harvester-threshers) in place of binders, (2) the decline
in the acreage of small grain crops, (3) loss of export markets, and
(4) increased imports.


Aside from the factors noted, the amount of binder t-.sinc re-
quired araiually depends upon the amount of straw, including woods,
produced pc.r r.crc. This !n turn is dependent upon growing conditions
and othcr factor. Cons:MIption is highly sLasonal, occurring at harvest
time, ind larbc stocks arc ruquirod for sudden demands. If crop
failures occur, large c'.rr:,'-ovwrs re likely and production during the
ensuing y.ar may bc curtailed. It is not unusual for bindei-tvrino
manufacturers to carry over as nuch as half thcir totJl production in-
to the following ycvr.


In the foregoing section of this report c. background of facts
hns bcor presented conccrring the xmat'ri'.ls uscd '-m.nd the products manu-
fc.ctured by the corcr-.c a-d twine industry. I.a this and thn following
section a more detailcd discussion of the utillzatio:: of cotton in
cordage and twivine 'ia.y be f o un.d. Typos of cotter tr-inrs cid cordage
rnan'ifacturcd aCr surv.,rcj r nd factors influencing their use are dis-
cussed, information '-.]so is pr.scrtcd on quantities and grrdos of
cotton used in cord;-re anr4 t'-':-, -nd on trends in thec cor-surption
of cotton in tYis uc.

Of the total of 100.5 rilliior pounds cf cotton twine and
cordage rnTiufactur *d in 1937, 73.3 rillior pounds r-orc tv.-inc and 27.2
million pounds -;cr.c cordr-'rc. Cotton twinc has conpr4sed between 52
percent an.d 40 ic rccrnt cf tLi total proditctkcn of tvwne other than
binder trirc during the i.st 4 bien-nial census vc:.rs; cott:m cordage
betwccn 18 percen-t rand 24 pcrcci.t of the total production of cordage.

In comparison .rith othcr tvitrcs, cotton t-'inr.cs ar urcd when
qualities such -s 1lcx-.ibility, softness, light v.cight, atd ;puLar=nce
,.r: of rajor irport-ncc. Tiey crc 7.a-nuf-.ct!.rcd in a. large i.umbcr of
constructions, Qualitics, and. sizes f.;r ". vv.ri;ty of uses. Although
ti--rc iE no dcfIitt-, staisdardizcd cl-.ssifica.tion of those twines,
they n"..y be divucd on thIL basis or tl.cir principal uses, into three
'-air groups -.s follows: (1) T'.'ar-cs gemra..rlly used for tying packages
including "wrapiring," "sv ts adr "polished" twines; (2) twines used
pri'.cipc.lly for fishinC pi'.rpcsus, including "seine" tv.incs, "trot-
lincs," "staginL" tvincs, =a.n other fishing li:--cs; a-.d (3) twines used
for sevdning 'and oth,:r purpo sc,.

Of th- thrcc rrou-s, t-,ircs used for t',ir- pac:agcs re of
rrcr-tcct inp.rrt"ncc, d on th:' basis cf reports fro- manufacturers
are csti,..tcd t-, c.-r'nrisc nt.rl" t-"o-t1irds cf the total production.
Sc-vin; nud ',tc:r twincr nrkc. up n a1dr'it:'on-l. ?3 pcr'cent of the total,
epprcxiratclv, .ad fishing tvincs ccnpricce the rcrminder of 13 per-
cant (teb.c 1.1).

- 29 -

Table 11.- Estirated production _/ of cotton twines, by kinds,
in the United States, 1935-37.

Kind of twine 1935 1936 1937
:Million MTillion Million
:pounds poun 's pounds

Tying (Wrapping, sail, anr' polisherd)
Unpolished (59.7 percent) .
Polished (5.5 percent) .. .
Total (65.2 percent) .....
Fishing (Seine, trot, staping, and other
fishing) (13.0 percent) .....
Sewing and other (21.8 percent) .
Totc.l (100 percent) .




34.8 44.5 47.8

: 6.9 8.9 9.5
S11.7 14.9 16.0
: 53.4 63.3 73.3

j/ Estimated on basis of reports from manufacturers representing 69
percent of production in 1935, 65 percent in 1937. Total production
data for 1935 and 1937 arc from the Census .,f lianufactures, but arc
estimated for 1S36. Production cf each itcn is total production mul-
tiplied by estimated percentage shown in parenthesis. Pcrcenta.ges
arc average proportions for 3 years as indicated by manufacturers'
reports, the proportions varying 1 percent or less from yeor to year.

Cotton Twines for Tying Packages

In the first group, composed of twines used for tying purposes,
the bulk of the production is of wrapping twvines. There are no stand-
ardized specifications for wrapping twines, but thcy arc unpolished and
ordinarily range in size from a 3-ply construction, with a length of
about 6,000 feet to thL pound, to a 30-ply construction, with a length
of about 670 feet to the pound. The fine 3- and 4-ply sizes, which
are beyond the rnnge of the finest noncotton twines, wre reported to
be most heavily used, followed by the 16-ply size vihich is used exten-
sively for packages of meudiun size. Some cotton wrapping tArinos are
manufactured entirely frjn lint co-tton but others arr made either
partly or entirely from c:ttcn waste, chiefly card strips and comber
noils. Production cof lower grades of twine is reported to have in-
creased considerably during recent years at thu expense of higher
grades, owing tD changing d-nmends from purchasers. As a general rule,
the higher grades for use: cast of thec Rockies arc radc of 8's yarn
spun from lint cotton and the cheLapcr grades are made fron 6'syarn
containing a percentage of waste. nra.pping twines used on the
Pacific coast are made usually from 6.50s or 3.25s yarn spun from
lint cotton.

Cotton wrapping ttd nes arc available in various colors and arc
put up in balls, cones, tubes, and cut lengths. Federal specifications
for these twines, which may be taken as approximately representative
of twines in corm.ercial use, are shown in table 12.


Table 12.- Construction, length per pound, and breaking
strength of unpelishod cottun wrapping twine.

Ply I-inimur, average Mininun av- rage
S length per pound breaking strength
F(et RPouund s

2 9,000 3
3 6,000 5-1/2
4 4,500 8
5 3,600 10
6 3,000 12
8 2,250 16
10 1,800 20
14 1,290 28
16 1.125 32
24 750 48

From Foderal Standard Stock Catalog, TT-871, Sept. 16, 1930; Section
IV (part 5); Federal spccificr.tirns for tvrine, cotton, wrapping.

Other typcs of unp*:,lishc.l c-)ttn twines used f;r tying packages
include "sail,""Sca Islanl," "butchers'," anc other tvinns. Sail
twines are igcuntical waith the larger sizes 'f wvrrapping tw.ines and are
so called because they oncc were used extensively fcr sewing sails.
The tern still is applic. to twines used for haid sewing,but it also
is applied by manufacturers to tv'ines usca m.nainly fcr tying packages.
Sea Island twine is a high-quality twine uf cabled construction, used
almost entirely in the drug traleh It is so nrsned because it originally
was nade from Sea Island c(,tt>n. Butchers' cr "packers"' twvine is re-
presentative cf a grt.un of twines which htve tr.-dc na-es to indicate
the particular use fjr which they were nanufLcturecd.

Polished cotton twines.- In aiditiL.un to the twines discussed
above, a substantial quantity of polished cotton twine is used mainly
for tying purposes. Polishc'd cutting twincs -re similar to wrapping
twines but have been spcci.ll. treated with a s-lution of starch, wax,
and other materials to obtainn greater snr-thncss an-d strength and a
-nre attractive appcaronce. Accor,'in. ti st-r'larl spt-cifications,./ I
there are two types, "special" -dr "stan .r-1." Special tvines cre
nade fr~n G's yrrn tiste.1 in the required number 1f plies for the
size t- be made ar-. stanr-ar-1 twires ar. nude sirdlarl'r from' 2's yarn.
Polished cnttor. tv.-incs in gcn,.ral use havc a length pcr unit of
weight ranrinr front 250 t.- 4,820 f.-ct t.o the pound n). c- respondingg
breaking strengths rangin,- from 170 to 11 poun-s (teble 13).

20/ Bureau of Stan:'l.ar-s, Sinplificd Practice; Recorenr'1aticn R-124-31.

- 31 -

Table 13.- Construction, length per pound, and breaking
strength -f polished cotton twvines.

1: Special StandL-rd
Twine Length per : Breaking : Brking
number pound 8's yarn 2's ,arn B
: _" ::strength_ :strength
Feet Ply Pounds : Ply Pnunds

5 _/ 4,820 4 11
9 1 3,150 6 16
12 / : 2,325 8 23
/15 1 : 1,900 10 28 :
18 1,575 12 34 3 29
24 1,175 16 41 35
36 950 20 57 5 48
48 750 24 75 6 66
60 6005 30 85 : 7 75
4 1/2 : 475 40 110 : 10 95
6 375 48 ]135 : 12 120
7 300 60 155 : 15 150
8 : 250 : 72 170 : 18 160
_/ Not manufactured in standard (2's yarn) construction.
All figures approximate. Compiled from U. S. Departncment of Comrnierce,
Bureau of Standards, Simplified Practice Recomaenda.tion R-124-31 for
polished cotton twine, and from trade catalogs.

Cheaper grades of polished cotton twine, which do not conform
with the specifications ;iven in table 13 have been placed upon the
markett during the last few years. In [encral, these twines also are
of 8's and 2's yarn construction,but as they arc manufactured from
cotton cf lower quality they arc inferior in strength to the standard

Factors influencing use :-,f cotton twine for tying purposcs.-
Cotton twines find their principal use in the prckvging field as n
material for tying the small and mediur-sized packages of retail trade.
Larger packages, such as those generally used f .r rovncments cf mer-
chandise from factory or wholesaler to retailer, arc tied usually with
jute or hard-fiber twines if twines are used at all. There is no exact
line of dnLarcation between use of cott-n and -.thcr twines, but rather
a zone in v&which both types arc ir. c-npctitiun.

Even in the medium- and sr.all-px.ckcagc field, cotton twine is
used on only a fraction of the tct'.-J packages. An increasing propor-
tion of packages consists of boxes or uther ccnt-.inc(rs requiring nc
twine. Paper bags used by grocers and dry-g"oos stores are an exorple
of this type. In addition, there is an increasinrb use of -uir.ned-ptaper
tape for fastening packages in place uf tvrine.

A 32 -

Cotton-twine sales have been more seriously influenced by com-
petition from gumned-paper tape during the last fee years than by com-
petition from noncotton tvlnes. A widespread tendency, to substitute
this material for cotton twines has been noted in certain types of
retail stores like the limited-price variety stores, particularly
where large numbers of packages of identical size are wrapped at a
single place.

Gummed-paper tape was developed about 35 years ago, and its
first general use occurred in connection with corrugated and fiber
shipping containers. Its usu for parcel-sealing purposes has boon a
later Pnd, judging from estimates in 1933 that this use required only
10 percent of all sealing tapes,2L/ a loss important development.
Cumned-paper sealing tapus now (.nerully in usr; for. binding medium
and small packages aru made of a 35-pound Kraft rpe-r which has been
coated with an adhesive compound weighing approximatel-r 33 percent
of the finished product. This tspe is sold in 500-foot and 800-foot
rolls ad/in widths of threa-fourths of :n inch, 1, 1-1/4, and 1-1/2
inches. -_ /

One of the. advantages claimed for gurmv.-d-papcr tape is that a
much smaller amount of tape is required' for binding e package than if
twine is used. Thl. amount used of each varies with th. package, but
as a general rule it is estirratcd thWt from 3 to 8 timcrr. more cotton
twine tha.n gummned-paper tape is required per packa.ge. How,-ver,
gurmined tape gncirally costs from 1. to 3 tines as Lluch per foot as
medium and fine sizes of cotton wrapping t-,inr-.

Another -.dv.ntarcc cl>imud for -u.vcd-pxjcr tape is that it
speeds up the wrapping process v.nd thus saves the tine both of the
clerk and of the waiting customer. Oth>,r -.dv-rt.gfs ..rc that it seals
packages, affording safety aL-.inst pilfering, end gives thc pL.ckage a
smooth surface. The fact that advertising legends nay be printed on
the tape has the effect of reducing the expense char-geable to wrapping

One of the chief dis.dvantagcs of gurnned-pnpor tape is that
machines arc required to disp-nso it and tha-t these rnaclincs some-
times require a considcrabin initial investment, particularly if
packages arc wrrppcd -.t c. number cf stxtirns in .'_n -st-.iblishnicnt.
The sirrmplcst mac.hines used j'or this purpces, cot %3 or Z4, v.hilo
levcr-oprrated -achlnos suitable Cot dr;-.-r.oodj stores or grocrrics
range front l12 to $40 in cost. Oth .r dikn.iIvaritr-(s rrc th:'.t omr-
tines th0u adheJiv. qu:iLty of the tape is not altor--th-r satisfactory
and that tiheu dispzrsing machine s oc'-r.sioiln1.v require repair. If the
gumreod-tape sc,.e on a. oacku.,-e becom.,s loosf or brok.:n, it cannot be
replaced so r sdily as a loosened twine vrr.pping. Tw'inE enables a
package to he rr-,spcd. and cLrried rore tosilv.

21/' Letter td Agric'diltural Adjustrt.nt Ad ninistration from Curried
Industries AssociaLtion.
22/ 1National Bureau of Stardr.rds, Simplified Practice Recommendation
R-114-30; Tapr; Scaling, No. 1 Ernft p-ptr.

- 33 -

There is no doubt that murmed-pc.p&r tr.po is nov boinF used for
Larger number of packaging purposes formerly rcquiin-' cotton and
othur kinds of twvino, rnd th-t thi- rcpl-cemcnct t-nd.-nc it continuing.
How far it will continue is not eacily surmised. V.'ithout Joubt binth
twines and gurnmcd tape sooner or later will find positions "n +he mar-
ket for wrapping materials in which :ach has cicarly rcccgnizec -d-
vantages, but the e'cxtnt te vrhich e.ch will hc used is as v't unc.zrtain.

Coipetitlon front othcr tr-incs.- Cot+on tv'nca V.lseo ecrcte
with otho-r tvics of tvdinc s as c. r':tcri.l for tving packages. This com-
petition is intense and h.s resulted in considrablc shifts in kinds
of tine used. Pre.scnt computitivu r'..li'Lion-1-iis b.cv'cci tvLincs, on
the basis of th. footaec of dcsiLnattcd strength thr.t is obtL.inablc. per
unit of cost arj show-_i i-i figure 4. As indicated in the- upcrr l,-ift
corner, the finest sizes of cotton twi.nes yicld a Lrrat'.r fLotaeo pur
unit of cost than ay ether tp.oc anod .rc thz ok.1 tvincs fir s'lo com-
mercially with breaking strr-Ingths of Less than 20 pounds. It is ro-c'-
worthy th-.t the most axt.--:esively used sizes cf cottxr wropuing twines
fall within thi- group. In the mcdiam-strongth rarge, cctocn tvwines
of int.rme-di-.tc nid coarscr sizes cr.o-untcr corpotit-'.on from t-Ui.nes
mnad of jute, hemp, mnnd fL.ax. Jutc t'i-ncs h-e-r c.'mpcte on fairly even
price terms with cotton ti-ncs bLut hc:.p xid flax :t)ies cqu-.l teiisile
strength are avnilablc only c.t -. higher cost.

The c-arcest sizes of cotton t"rines also arc ccmnaratlo in
strength with t'.e finest sizes 'f hard-fibcr t'.,i.ins, some types of
which offer a c -rsi- rr-.bl: gr..acer fo.tage per unit f cost. For
requirements dcm..ndi.ng bre-kir-g strength '.f nor, then rbcut 16D
pounds, only hard fibrr -nd jut, tviUnes, e.nd t .-. snil 1 cxtcnt horp
twiiies, are used. Althoi ih certain sizes of o.tto. seine tw'incs are
manufactured with breaking strengths ra'ngi:w un to 61oC pounds, they
are too expensive for ordinary v.Tmrapping purnoses.

If cotton tvwincEcs rise o:r fall in ? rice as ccm ard ifith ether
twvines, their ccmpotitiv' situ-.ti-n i:..prroves cr d.tcriorates as the
case insy be. As indicn-trd ir: figure 5, the price rf cott-1.i '.!r-pping
twine showed a dov.e.ward t 'r*:. t fr-on 1M27 tc 1c32, both absolutely c.nd
relative to the price (if twinces r.dcc 'Pf .'t.-ir f'ib: rs. -Il'' _.r.irg an
abrupt rise in 1935, it rc-'-dincd -:ut a cor.p.)arativJy rtablc level until
1937 v:hen it agai- declined. Di:ring recent no-ths t! ricece f cotton
twines has again increcased, but this increase i':.-'s bcu. accrp.anicd by
similar changes in thr: prices of jute aC-id hard-fib:-r tw-ines.

Although prices of v.rious twines have bount discussed on the
basis uf breaking strcr.gth, it should be remembered that breaking
strength is an inpurtait f.ctor in t-wine competition -nly insofar as
the requireme-ints of particular situations dictate. Cotton twines
sometimes are preferred to twines of hiher breaking.: strength, as
they arc easier to manipulate or to bre-ik. They arc preferred some-
tines too, because of their c-.npervti-.re resistance t1 friction or
breaking vden the tino is 'iaattcd -r passed o-c.r Wi, edge r corner.
This last fact-or sor'eti'incs is referred tc. as "v'ori-inL strenr-th."









Cal on Wripping. /#ria grade

often P[ollllish C'.

a pi i pe l


Jute wrapping. JR-b
-s Jul ifmf. IO-lb T

Cation nelve, medium laid

SCalito pollihed /Ist _
-oli Fi.H illu ine unlnllil Sn^ i | ired il I

Flex~~~ /on@ un inise In reea
I CI Xv.
--- Hil_ f_ C ir n e p llnll l iijtit '^ k \ . I %aC" C,
Flea JIe anl/liirlahi Sodt grid. ,^^ .^ lfl

__ __ --------- N

Hemp /ine unl-8lhn J ae

lattuen End aridt.

- ---- ---___

__ ~TkI ---- __

4 S 6 7 I 5 10

I | t

20 30 40 50 60 70 10 90100


COTTOn ..... C JUTS- .-J
H1MP --.- N FLAS --..-t

4 19

I ____ __ _1 IIiii

.____.He__ Mr fiber. ecla s __A
i Java hefliuid

Jfia 1.Kim
% %

4449. j Hard fiber. @l mle I laid
*4%A Mmlli

SC-. ,.
-S ---

Jte, panier mker". Sale 'cpu I l bOk '..\
I M if _


Joe. Aiiej ylletle -h-u
I .I I 1 .-

D00 E00 400 So 10g0 700 100 1.000



This chart shows the footage of each twine, of the breaking strength shown on the
horizontal scale, which was being sold for one cent in July 1940. Au In indicated, fine,
low-strength cotton twines offered the greatest footage per unit of oost; and medium and
coarse cotton twines were sold for about the same price (per foot) as Jute twines of equal

I/ Based on manufacturers' wholesale quotations.


- I




I I I # I I t



40 O-- OTTON (No. I wrapping. -- -- -- -
unpolished. factory)

30 ___ ,- JUTE fine finished _


30 L L- L". .
( Standard f'actory )\ I
~>SISAL ( H. F. Class II twisted, N. Y*)



COTTON ( 2nd grade.

| \ L-MANILA f Abaca')
*^ \ I "^

0 ---------'-F" I ..J. --|
SISAL (2nd grade. Mexican, J
3/4-inch. N. Y.)

0 I.l ,, I ..i ..I..i .. .l .IJ ,,, .. .. l .,I, ..l, ,i,,l.,.J,,, ,. .I.,l .... .. I.. l ,, .I ,,, 1. .il .. ,j .l,.,i ii. .h .,. ... ,. I, .i.i .. i I.. .I ...i.. I. .,l ....i I.i.l .. .i
1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940



Prices of cotton twines and cordage fluctuate more widely
than prices of other types. At present they are intermediate be-
tween the low and high extremes of the last eight years. Since
prices are given for certain types only and on a weight basis,
they indicate trends in prices rather than competitive relation-
ships during any given period.

- 36 -

Other ft-ctcrs uf inqportanco in dctcrniniai the suitability of
a twine arm its elasticity, dicnL.ttr, LppLoDr.rcu, Lrd touch. Cotton
tyriar is more cl-.stic than :.thLr t'w.incs a=d nT.y be Ct an adv'nt.rgo
or disailva..tac ii' it is to bc. subjected to a varind stress. Ii the
dianutor is t.o snail, thvro nay be a t.enLrenry to cut fingers or the
puckagC. On the ether hand, too gr'.at a bull: m'.y be .- disadvoantaGe.

Apprarr.iico of a tu iie, its nuturcl. or artificial col-r, nnd its
stainlc'sn.'ss, Ulso are of cnsirdcrable inportance if the twine is to
be used fhr rmtail pac!mr.g.:s. The natural white ccl,,r of hi,'h-quality
c .tt'-.n tvinc ..,fton :ivCs .It u.j' :--rV.rta;.-c in such uses. Touch, or
whctlhcr the tvd nj is s ft, pl.able, stiff, or h-rd, is still another
factor. C)tt'r's snftnss is an odvcnto", wl.en thi t'inu is rimoni-
pulatcd by hand but it is :. Ais"dv-xjttv e if t. c. rpt'rntivdy stiff,
nen-1in-in- tvidnc is desired. The poli skiing Fr-'ccss rvrc-mncs this
disadvantaLcc ti -.r:. cxtc.t by incrrasinc the? riuiit,, anC. srionthnoss
of the twine, buit it als- results in 'a docrcsc in s,,rtn-ss.

In suf-T.rv, thi.? r-rlcct f,'r -11 kin('s t..f tving twines onil
jumcd tac- hn.s dccre.ased w.v.ng tc an ir reasc usc ,f czrtJniners
like bags, cartoons, an' cr'vci.cpr-:s *'rilieh require no fasteninr material.
TI'e share :f thick n-.rl;.t ccc',irc, b:' c-tt:.n tvwinc is dependent upon
ccmp,.titivc fa.ctors rcfrrrd t. rb..vc, mid evidncr althjush cotton twrinr has -- rr than hc]_ its c.wr ir. r- laticn ti-, ether
kinls )f' twinc, it hvs 1 'st u, rt of it n:- rkr t t.o L.uZr1'cd taie. As
cottn)r wrq-'pinL t,.rncs aCrc USL.I larGel: in rLtail tuslnr.s, it is to
be uxpcctud that thrir c nsun.tij n. uld vary 'irccty with fluctua-
tions ir the :.nouunt if business, buit little quantitytivc mr.)of is
available to suopirt this asUry.pti.n. 0;,.r sh..rt puric.ds Af tire,
c'jtt n-twi22c snlcs J-ls, arc influenced to sore Fxtc.nt by buyers'
policies -;f tinin. their purchases in an ctff.rt to ta!:e e.dv,.ritne
zf fluctu.nti r.s in the ccttjin nr.rkt.

Cotton Ti.nc-s for Fishinf

A soc-.c': gr up --f cc.ttrn twires inclur'!es tw.nes used primarily
for fishing ur:)o.c;s oithcr in tl.c r-anuf.cturc vnd repair of fish nets
;r as fishiliirs. T'cse tvrinrs arc Inovn.n C.s seine t-wines, trotlinos,
state in.- t'rincs, fis!-lircs, m.d' "thr rs, a'-d wre .stim-tcd t-) ccnpriso
fLpmcxiv'.itclv 1 p; rce:.ct (9.' nillioni pounds i.1, 137) of thfe total
pr.r'ucti,,n f c. 't-: tvin'. F. With +ho exce,)t.i n f some firhlines
whiCh ".rc br-id.., ]'.I1 t'"irs i:. t' 5 s I'rr:'up r re ch-var-terizcd by
having a *'ab!-cd crnstructi *u, bi." t '.- rec up f thr c t r nor- strand-s,
cocc -'. w'tich c-rsists in turn f nur,.b-r "f ,rns tA..isted together.

Of thV,: t tv.l pr-ducti-n 1f c-'tt r twlirs used nainly f.-r fish-
ira, r.rc thE.:- 85 o,:rcCnt arc. skfinc trinn.s. SLinc- tdnos arc divided
ir.tr s-ft, neiUL ]ard, -.nd cxtr2 hard-loid c rstructiors, accord-
inc t thi dr-rrce -i' twist imparted in the fcrming ant' cabling opera-
tions, an1, arc nadc in various sizes which crc cesirnated by the
nubcr of in'ividut-, yarns 'r thrc..ds ,~f which -.c}. c insists. In
lcn th 1per unit ..f vwcicht, si.zcs r-ngc fr,-r apr.roxir-.tely 3,460 feet

- 37 -

per pound to 75 feet pcr pound anrd less, but nore coronly used sizes
range between 1,700 and 300 feet ocr pcunA,. All arc cf 3-strand con-
struction except soft-laid seine tvwnes nf size 20 an,:- larger which
are composed of 4 strands.

According to manufacturers, nost seine twines arc used in the
nanufacturu or repair cf nettinL, the nedium-l-.id constructions being
preferred for this purpose. However, soft-ikid seine tvines arc used
for hanging nets when drying rand for tyinL nets together, an-d hard or
extra hard-laid seine twines are used as fishinE li"ies, being tco
rigid to k!ot without difficulty. These uses are estimated to require
about 90 percent of the production ef seine twines, the remainder
.'jing into such nonfishing uses as laundry nets, tennis nets, and
nason's chalk lines.

Table 14.- Approximate length per pound and breaking
strength -f cotton twines used for fishing. I/


Seine twirne:
Soft-laid (6 tn 240 thread). .
Medium-laid (6 to 240 thread) .
Hard-laid (6 to 240 thread) .
Extra hard-laid (6 to 120 thread)

Meter cord (60 to 260 thread) .
Trotline (24 to 153 thread) ...
Staging twine (9 to 33 thread) .

: Length per : Breaking
po-und : strength
:Finest :Coc.rscst :Finest :Coarsest
: sizsize : ize : size : size
: Feet Feet :Pourds Pcunds

3,460 85 12 486
3,300 65 12 600
. 2,900 75 12 484
2,900 150 12 240

. : 260
. : 510
. : 1,380




_/ Specifications sho.n arc f-,r f-nest .s.nd cz.-rscst sizes cf each
kind .)f twine, construction Pf uihich is irlicatcd by date in parer.n-
theses. Specifications arc cci.rpilod frjin trcde litcrL.ture but arc:
not necessarily representative '.f twines prA-.'uccd by all manufacturers.

Other cotton twines used primarily for fishing include trctline,
staging, meter cord, and fishlino. Trotline is the "leader" line which
is strung out during fishing operations, and staving twine is the
small hook line suspended at intervals frcn it. Larps, sizes of seine
twine that are used chiefly f :r hanging nets are sumotinos called
meter cord, particularly in the Great Lakes Region. Cotton fishlines
consist partly .f cabled twi.nes th.'.t are idc.ntical with seine twines
and partly of braided twines, the braided c.nstructi .n. scmetincs be-
ing preferred because )f its resistance tc,- tanv'ling anr. untwristing.



- 38 -

Factors influencing conshutption of cotton fishing twines.- As
compared with other fibers, cotton occupies a dominant position in
meeting the needs of the fiF'.Ling industry. Nuttings made Of cotton
twines are estimated to comprise about 72 pere.nit by weight of v'l.
netting used ir the United 3tntes a-, compareC v..-_th 8 percent com-
posed of linen nettings and 20 percent of ma.ciia nothing.'/ With
the exception of a small quantity of hemp halibut line and small
quantities in weight of sillk and linen fishlines for noncommercial
fishing, cotton twines arc the only fishlines used.

Shifts fror fishing tackle made of one fiber to tackle made
of another, as a resi.1it of pri ce changes, are reported to be neglig-
ible, since each kind of tackle has well-defined uses with require-
ments which do not pr.rmit ready substitution. However, it is likely
that price fluctuations arc of some importance in determining the
quantity of tackle that can be sold and it is therefore noteworthy
that thuse prices have shown-considerable variation in recent years.
For instance, the price of medium-laid, 9-thread seine twine fell
front a peak of about 59 cents per pound during 1928 to a minimum of
33 cents in 1933, and'was quoted at 38 cents p-.r pound in July 1940.

Of much greater importance than price changes are fluctuations
in the volume and profitability of fishing activity. When fishing is
unprofitable, old nets and other tacR1d, 'which in"b6ttur times would
be replaced, are kept in use by dint of much repairing and with some
loss of efficiency in fishing operations. Furthermore, fishing is
carried on with fewer nets.

Sewing and Other Cotton Twines

A third group of twines, comprising about one-fifth of the
tot-al production of cotton twine, includes twines not used either
for tving or fishing purposes. Lore than half of the production of
this group consists of seing twines, which are used _for sewing bags
and oth.-.r articles requiring a yarn or cord that is heavier than is
ordinarily implied by the term thread. These t-rines often n.re
identical with certain sizes of Twrapping twines, which sometimes are
advertised as b,.ing suitable for swing purposes.

Other twines included in this group are used for a variety of
purposes, as indicated by their naones. "Hop" twines and "pea" twines,
which rre used in agriculture to support gro-wing vines, are indica-
tive of one tvpc of use, ard "tobacco" tvwines,thr't arc used for mak-
ing draw strings for small sacks of tobacco and for tying laf
tobacco, arc indicative of anoth.r. Other products include "broom"
twines that arc employed in the ranufacturc of brooms; "top" twines

23/ Estimated on basis of production, imports, and exports figures
&iven in tabl, 1. Nets and Netting and Other Fishing Gear, Report of
U. S. Tariff CoTm-ission to the United States Senatc, Washington, 1937.
(Report No. 117--Second Surius.)

- 39 -

for spinning tops; cabled "kite" twines for flying kites; "webbing
cord" used in the manufacture of upholstery; and "mattress tufting
cord," for use in the manufacture of ru..ttresses, to mention a few.

Although twines included in this group possess the charact-
istics required for their particular uses, they usually are identi-
cal with certain types of tying twines, and their use is influenced
by similar technological and price comparisons vwith other kinds of
twine. In addition, their usL is controlled by the requirements and
conditions prevailing in oueach use.

Cotton Cordage

In comparison with other cordage, cotton cordage finds vride
use for requirements whore tensile strength is secondary to such
qualities as flexibility, softne-ss, and .rppc;orrJca. Production of
cotton cordagc in 1937 was second only to production of ab'ca'
cordage in quantity and v".lu( and during the last 3 biennial census
years has comprised betweur 20 percent and 25 percent of the total
production of all typos of cordage.

Classified according to construction, cotton cordn.pge is of
two trpes, brridrd "nd twisted. On the basis of r ports fror. 27
manufacturers, representing nearly one-third of the production, it
is estimated that about 60 p'.rccrt of the total production is
braided and about 40 percent is twisted (table 15).

Table 15.- Estimated production of cotton cordage by
kinds in the United States, 1935-37. L/

Kind : 1935 : 1936 : 1937
: r.illiol- Uillion Million
: pounds pounds pounds

Braided cordage (60 percent) : 13.7 16.0 16.3
Twisted cordage (40 percent) : 9.1 10.6 10.9
Total . : 22.8 26.6 27.2
I/ Estimated on thu basis of reports from mr.nufacturcrs representing
29 percent of production in 1935, 32 percent in 1937. Total produc-
tion data for 1955 and 1957 'irc from the Census of ,lanuf-ctures but
are estir.ated for 1936. Production of each iter: i: total multiplied
by estimated percentage showri in p-renth--ses. Percentases arc average
proportions for 3 vrars as indicated by nanufrcturers' reports, the
proportion varying 1 pcrcc.-t or less front yc-r to yrrr.

Braided cotton cordagc orcinnrrily is T'adt in sizes ranging
from thrco-sixteenths of a.n inch to one-ha.lf inch in dianctcr and
these sizes are desi.gntted as number 6, nurbc-r If, Inid so forth,
according to the nurbcr of thirty-seconds of eu inch in the diameter


40 -

measurnement. Most extensive use of braided cordogo is as clothes-
line and as windowsnsh cord but subst'iritiLJ qinatitics also are used
as Venetian-blind cord, trolley cord, flag hallyards, brll cords, and
for other varied requiremenunts. Most extensively used sizes are numbers
6, 7, and 8, numbers 6 and 7 being preferred for clothesline and
nurbers 7 and 8 as sash cord. Most of thc braided cotton cordftare is
glazed or polished to incrcasc snoothn.ss and durability. Several
grades arc manufactured, ranging from constructions composed of rovings
ir.de of cotton waste which are braided about co cntcr loadedd" with
clay or other foreign natcriils to constructions made entirely from
lint cotton yarns. Fcdcrl.l specifications for braided sash cord,
which arc considorcd to be applicable to the better commercial grades
or this product arc shown in table 16. Similar data for twi.sted
cotton rope also are shown.

Table 16.- Dianeter, length per pound, and brooking
strength of cotton cordage. /I

Braided sash cord ______ Rope____
S:Lengt]h pcr:Breaking: :Length per:Broaking
Sizo :Dia>rictcr: pound :strength:.1 ae t. pound strengthh
: (ninrinu) (r. :inimmn) : (minimum)
Inches : Font : Pounds : Inches : Feet : Pounds

6 : 6/32 66 225 : 1/8 200 120
7 7/32 51 272 : 3/16 90 250
8 : 8/32 AQ 528 : 1/4 52 420
10 : 10/32 27 440 : 3/8 23. E 890
12 : 12/32 19.5 560 : 1/2 13.5 1,450
3/4 6 3,100
1 3.5 5,100

/ Fedor.al specifications as compiled frcm Fedrral Standard Stock
Catalogue, Section T-C 571; T-R 571.

In comparison with bridcd cordage, twisted cotton cordage or
rope has greater tcnsile strength but is not so smooth and is more
likely to suffer fr.:n abr:.si'ins. It is :n.-nufacturrd in sizes ranging
from thrce-sixtconthr of .n inch to 1-1/4 inches or more in diameter,
the sizes of less than one-half inch diamnctcr b,.ing used most exten-
sively. Probably h.-lf of the total prLduction is used as plowlines
on farms. It also is used in the building trades, in clotheslines
and Viell ropes, 2'.s small rope.s on ships, for awnings and Veneti-an
blinds, for tying bundles, as tr.nsnission ur driving ropes, and in
other wa.ys. Several qualities are manufactured, r-'-nging from grades
nuade entirely of cotton waste to constructions composed of yarns nadp
entirely from cotton lint. It is unpolished usually.

- 41 -

Factors influencing use of cotton cordage.- Owing to the
number of uses to which cotton cordage is applied and the; lack of
information concerning nany of then, it is impossible to completely
analyze the demand for these products. However, there is evidence
of decreased use of certain products which should be recognized. For
instance, the consumption of cotton sash cords has been adversely
affected by the use of chains on windows and by the increased use of
casement windows which do not require pulleys. The use of cotton
clotheslines undoubtedly has declined with the trend towards the
use of large, commercial laundries. 'It also is likely thrt use of
cotton plow lines has declined with the chu.nfc fr-)n horse to tractor
as a means of motive powcr on farms. But there is no quantitative
backing for any of these statements. In vie- of the fact thv.t con-
sumption of cotton cord-.ge has been maintained, it may be concluded
that increased use for certain purposes has counterbalanced losses
in others. For instance, use of cotton cord?-.go in Venction blinds
undoubtedly has increased.

Cotton cordage encounters competition froi cordage made of
other fibers, particularly in clothesline, but there is nothing to
indicate recent substantial losses --r gains as a result f' this com-
petition. Instead, fluctuations in production -and consumption appear
to be the result of changing demands for cordage, on the part of con-
sumers as a result of changing prices and changing business .nd other


Quantity and Grade of Cotton Used

According to reports received front nanufncturcrs, the quantity
of cotton used in the nanufacturc of cott.n cordavg and twine during
1937 averaged 1.18 pounds per pound ..;f product. Although this amount
was. the average for the entire production, the quantity used per pound
of different products varied with factors such as the quality of the
product, kind of cotton used, and in regard tc whether the product
was polished or not. For instance, an average -if 1.24 pounds was
reported cm)nsured for each pound of seine and :thcr fishing twines
manufactured but the average quantity usc:i per pcund _f braided
cordage, s)me types of which are glazed -r lwrdd ';with nwcotton
materials, was only 1.09 pounds. For all twires c'.-rbired, average
consumption of co-tt.n per p.-und of product was 1.19 pounds; for
cordage, 1.15 pounds.

Applying the abxve d&tA. t" total production figures, it is esti-
mated that 118 million pound's of co'ttcn, or the equiv'xlent :cf 248,000
bales of 478 pounds net weight, were used in cordage and twine during
1937 (table 17). Most of this quantity, 182,000 blc.s, is cstimr.ated
to have boon used in twine, but nearly 66,000 br.l..s is cstiwrrted to
have been required in the nanufacturc. f ccrclagt. Similar estirmotes
ffr previous years, assuming use 4f sane qua.ntity .f c..ttn pcr pound
of finished product, are given in table 18.

rr 777M

42 -

Table 17.- Production of cotton cordage and twine, percentage
of production included in survey, -1 quae-ntity of cotton

reported used per pound
consumption of cotton
of product,

of product, and estimated total
in cordage and twine, by kind
United States, 1P3'7.

Kind of pro

Tying twines (wrap
and polished) .
Fishing twines (se
staging, etc.)
Sewing and other t

Total twinc .

Braided cordage .
Twisted cordage .

Total cordage

S tProduction

: Cotton consumed

:rerocen or: : :
duct : total : Total : rage per: Total
: included : 2/: pound of : 3/
:in survey: : product
:Percent millionn Pounds Million
pounds pounds

ping, sail, :
. : 58 47.8 : 1.18 4/ 56.2
ine, trot, :
. 81 9.5 : 1.24 11.8
nes. 56 16.0 : 1.19 19.0

...... : 60 75.3 : 1.19 87.0

. 22 16.4 : 1.09 17.8
S. 28 10.9 : 1.24 13.5

. .. : 24 27.2 : 1.15 31.3

Total twine and cordage .

: 50 100.5 :



1/ Percentage of total production for which reports were recorded from
manufactures giving cotton utilization data.
2 Production: Estimated for individual kinds. See tables 12, 16.
/ Product of total production multiplied by av,.rage cotton consumed
per pound of product.
4/ Weighed average of 1.06 pounds for polished twines, 1.18 pounds
for wrapping and sail twines.

Of the total cotton reported used for cordage and twine during
1937, slightly more than one-fourth was cotton vrastc and slightly less
than three-fourths was cotton lint. The proportion of cotton waste
used in various products differed considerably, ranging from'an
average of only 5 prrcont in seine and other fishing twines to 85 per-
cent in twisted cordag'3. In gcncra.l, twincs 1ave a larger proportion
of cotton lint th.n cordagr, but soMe nuMnufacturcrs reported twines
which w.vcrc madc 1: rgrcly from waste rnd others reported cordage nade
entircl from cotton lint. More thnn 40 percent of the waste used
consisted of card strips and norc than 20 prrccnt wvas conbcr waste.
Other kinds of w".st3 used oxtLnsivcly included fly and thread.

43 -

Table 18.- Production of cotton cordage and twine in the
United States during designated vLars, 1899-1937,
and estimated cotton equivalents. j/

Production Cotton equjv:lent _/
Twine Cordage : Total : Twine Cordage Totrl
Million 1,Million Million 1,000 1,000 1,000
pounds pounds pounds : bales bales bales

1899 20 2 j/ 22 50 4 2 54
1909 : 34 24 58 : 85 59 144
1914 : 31 19 50 : 78 45 123
1919 : 35 18 53: 88 43 131
1921 : -- 17 : 42

1923 39 24 63 : 97 59 156
1925. : 50 26 76 : 124 62 186
1927 : 66 27 93 : 164 66 230
1929 : 88 28 116 : 219 67 286
1931 : 48 21 69 : 118 50 168

1933 : 60 27 87 ,149. 65 .- 214
1935 : 53 25 76 : 133 54 187
/1936 : 68 27 95 : 170 64 234
1937 : 73 27 100 : 182 66 248

i/ estimated cotton and cotton waste required to produce stated
quantity of cordage and t'.win,, basid on loss in mranufa.cturinr of 15.8
percent for twine; 13.0 pcrccnt for cordage. Bdr s arc of 478 pounds
net weight.
2/ Does not include production of cordar.p in cotton .oods-industry.
Production during 1936 ostimr.ted. Cor.pilcd from Census of DTanu-
factures for other yv crs.

Yiost of the cotton ]int isrcd in cordage and t:.inc was of seven-
eighths of an inch or fiftcon-sixtcc.nths of -n inch staple- .nd more
than half was strict low middling in gr-adr PFovcv r, quantiti-s" of
cotton in all grades bctwccn good ordinary rand strict middling inclu-
sive and of all staple lcn[ths bctwccn thirtecn-sixtecrnths of an inch
and 1-3/32-inches, inclusive, wt.rc reported used. An a..n,'.vsis of
cotton used in various products, shovwi,,g gp-radcs c.nd staples of cotton
line and kinds of cotton waste used is .iven in table 19.

Trends in Consumption of Cotton in Cordage and Twine

As indicated in table 20, consumption of cotton in cordage and
twine showed a continued upward trrnd from 1914 to 192, except pos-
sibly during the 1919-21 period. bv 1929, the quantity of cotton

Table 19.- Grades and. staples of cotton and kiinds of cotton waste used in the mnfcueo
twine and. cordage products in the United States durin' 1937, in percnae of
the total Y/

Grade or staple of .Cordg ::in :Fisin iing BaddTi
cotton, or kin an Twine : Cordage ::twine : twines : other : cordage : cordg
~of cotton waste used. :twine :twines3f
:Percent Percent Percent : :Percent Perc~it Percent Percent Percent
Waste cotton: ON
Card~ strips .. .......~...: 11 722 :: 9 2 3 7 4
Comber waste ........... : 6 5 : 9 1 2 ---
Other 2 9 2 27 2 2 1 2
Total. waste : b15 5T 195
Cotton, by staples: 3
1-3/32 inhs..... 1 1 1, 4 1
'1-1/16 inches ....... : 2 3 -- 2: 9 6
1 incih ............ 2 3 3 :: 2 6
15/16 inch ....... *..~... 17 23 5 :: 2 9
7/Sinch ........ 14 3469 35 62 414
13/116inch .......... : 1337
Tota coton 7 95 b 8164 1
Cotto, by rades
Stic mddin .... 2 7 --6 5 --I-

1-45 -

used in these products had increased to the equivalent of 296,000 bales
as compared with 123,000 br.lcs in !C14. This increcsc wo-.s propor-
tionately greater than the increase in consumption of cotton in all
industries, and _s a result the percentage of the totr.l cotton con-
sumption used in cordage 2nd twire rose from 2.2 p( recent in 1914 to
4.0 percent in 1929.

Table 20.- Total cotton consnumed, and quv.ntity c.,nsumed
in cordr.ge -Lnd tn-rinc in the United St-tes during
desigw..tnd ycars, 191i-37.

Estimated :
Calendar : consumption in : Tot-.l consumption .Percent.gve consumed
year : cordage .ard tI0 : in LlI.industries in cordage
yeg I t and t-viinc

: 1,000 bales 1,000 bales 1,000 bales

1914 : 123 5,449 2.3
1919 : 131 5,920 2.2
1923 : 156 6,521 2.4
1925 : 186 6,433 2.9
1927 : 230 7,405 3.1
1929 286 7,050 4.1

1931 : 168 5,<44 3.1
1933 : 214 6,211 3./-
1935 : 187 5,6i1 3.3
1936 234 7,10-- 3.3
1937 : 248 7,418 3.3

/ From data in table 18.
2 Compiled from United SItt s Bureau of the Crnsus Ct ton Produc-
tion and Distribution, Bulletin 17:. r.n:' orcceding- issues.
Y. Estimated on bap.sis rf rcTx.rts front rr.ruf.cturcrs.

Since 1929 the upward sw4ving inr. c(.isumption '.,f cotton in cordage
and tvrin has beer broken -f' -nv1 quaitities used -m..nu-lly ha'rvc rar-.gcd
from as little as 169,000 bvels in 2951 and 187,00& b'les in 1955 to
as much as 243,000 bales i-n I357. Dcsvit.L thc low level .f consumption
during some of these vof.rs, larger proportion cf cordagc. =.d tvwine
other than binder t-Anc vw:.s nado fro.: c,-tt.-n thK.n during -.ll yuars
before 1929. Yorcovcr, thc. pi.rccr-tag&c k.f ttc.1l cotton corsur.mptien
which was usod for cirdl.gn" cnc' tvinc .2'.s equal tc or groator th.n .t
any time before 1929. Ev.'xi in absolute qurn'titics, c isunimption in
1937 was greater than during .ny previous yc,.r cxcr[t 1929. It may
be concluded, therefore,, thnt c.nsuxiptit-n of cotto2- in t.arinc -n6
cordage r.t least is being sustained, even though trin re is nr, definite
indication of an upward trend.

- 46 -

Undoubtedly the most ii.Wptrtant factor influencing th- consump-
tion of cotton in c,-rdagc and tvwine during the last fow years has been
business conditions. Although fluctuations in quantities consumed
have not coincided with fluctuations in business activity during
every year since-1929, the abrupt decline after 19?5 i.nd tho marked'
increase from 1935 to 1C37 (sce table 20) car- be ascribed chiefly to
this factor. In view v.- ,f the nagi.itude of th~sc ch-..ng-s it nv.y be
c-ncluded that s- fa.r as the imiudia.tc future is c ..ncrned, the most
important factor deturninirn c:nsusmption of cotton cordage and twine
is likely to be business con-!litions. Other factors which nay be of
impnrtince arc changing price rocltionships, ch-mging uses, and
technological developments. Although such factors may bo Af c 'nsiderable
inpfrtince, they rrce unlikely tc. influence crnsumrpticn as much as
changes in business activity. Changes in price relationships, unless
extreme, are likely to be of only limited importance. Changing uses
and technological dcvelopnents nav be of f-rcat importance vecr a long
period 'uf tine, but their impact is likely' t' bc felt only gradually.


Between 3 anc 4 percent -f the tctal quantity f cotton con-
sum.ied ru.nully i-_ the United Sta.tcs duriai.a the years since 1925 has
bcon used in tha r.vanufacturc of eirdae L.-d twine. Consur.ptiu-n of
cotton in this use is estir-atcd to have average(, nore than 200,000
bales annually luring the last 7 years and t. have totaled 248,000
bale;s in 1937.

In addition to cott.'n, n nuibcr of uthcr fibers are used in
cordage and twinc. These fibers include hcnc-quon, sisal, abaca'
(Manila fiber), istle (Tanpico fiber), A.- other h-a.rd fibers; and
jute, hero, and flax. Pap(.r also is used ir- the nanufa.cture .,f
twine. Of the tctal. 'f 496 million p.-unds >f co.rdage and .rtwine manu-
factured in 1937, 315 million p-,un'.rs ':as made f the various hard
fibers; 100 million pounds 'f c.ttor; 50 million p.urnds of jute, hemp,
flax, etc.; an.d 31 million p.Jun-:.!s K)f orner.

Prr)uctir. .f .11 trs -f crrc.age total Ad 132 nilli n prunds
,luring 1937, .nd c-rpriseor 27 p, rccrt -.f the tital pr:ducti ;r.. f
ccrdcgo and twine. Ab'ut on.nc-fifth -.f r.ll cor'!rngc is r.aec fr-m
c:tt'-n ?n1I is us ud f' r cl -thc-slincs, A..nn' -v-sash c r,!, pi "r lines,
and a varictv ,- f othcr uses v.hcrc frxibility, s' ftn ss, s n.'
appoaranco are 'f najir ir!po)rt.ncu. Prrcticrll: all If th( rcnmaindcer
is :'nde fror hard fib.-.rs, chiefly abac c.'. These other types are used
chiefly fir hecistin., .nrrin.e ropes, a'-L. otherr rc'quirC-'.rents here high
tensile strength is thc m-st :-;c.de-1 quality. This strength either
c.ain.not be secure.. fro. c-tt :-i r c-.n bc bt'-iru-d only at a. much higher
cost snnd by use .-f ruch h.*..vicr c.i'gc. Sincc cott n arnc Athcr types
-f c.orlagc gcc really arc useC f.r ,i"fTcrr.nt rcquir,:-.c-ts, c npctiti:n
bctvrcen the t-v: is linit-z.


iilr- :: : "E' i.T- i'.;!,- '" : "" :'': "*, *... *'- **' i EM


e -Production of all types of twine other than binder twine
y.. ~ totaled 207 million pounds during 1937, or 42 percent of the total
production of cordage and twine. Tn general the finest, lightest
twines are made from cotton and the coarsest, heaviest twines are
made from hard fibers. Jute, flax, and hemp twines occupy inter-
ll.. mediate positions between the two,' overlapping in size with the
*I coarser cotton twines and the finer, hard-fiber twines. Of the
iJ' total quantity of twines produced during 1937, 35 percent were
cottono; 26 percent wuro hard-fiber; 24 percent were jute, hemp, flax,
fetc., and mixtures thereof; and 15 percent were paper.

S0 *Two-thirds of the cotton twine manufactured consists of twins
used chiefly for tying purposes such as wrapping twines. These twines
dominate the small-package field, are not used for hea-viest packages,
but compete directly with jute and other twines for tying medium-size
packages. Consumption of cotton tying twines has been adversely
affected by increased use of packages not requiring tying such as
bags, and by gurmmed-paper tape, which competes on the basis of time
saved clerk and customer rather than on the basis of price.

Another 13 percent of the cotton twine manufactured consists
of seine and other similar t-rines which are used in the rmnufacturc
or repair of fishnets or as fish lines. In these us,:s cotton .meets
certain well-defined requirements which do not permit ready substi-
tution. Consumption depends largely on fluctuations in the volume
and profitability of fishing activity.

About one-fifth of thr cotton twine produced is used for scw-
ing and other miscellaneous purpos.s. These twines usually are identical
with certain typus of cotton tying twines ond their use is influenced
by similar technological and price comparisons v.ith other kinds of
twine. In addition their use is controlled by the requircmr..nts and
conditions prevailing in .ach use.

An additional 32 percent or 158 million pounds of the total
production of cordage and twine during 1937 consisted of one product,
binder twine. Binder twvine is a sinie-ply twine, made chiefly of
sisal and hcncquon, which is used with binders for automatically
tying bundles of the various small grains, flax and grass-seed crops,
and corn during harvesting. Thcre is no technological objection to
the use of cotton for this purpose which could not be overcome, but
the fibers now used arc so low in price that use of cotton is

Total production of .11 types of' cordage cnd tvwine other than
binder tvwine has varied considerable fro'n year to vear with business
conditions and other factors, but appears to have shown little or no
sustained increase during the last 30 vcyears. Pnwvcvcr, cotton's
share of this production has increased from 18 percent or less before
S1925 to 29 percent in 1937. Production of bi.nd( r twine has declined
tremendously since 1914 as a result of declining exports, increased
imports, and declining consumption attendant upon decreased acreage
of small-grain crops and increased use of combines.


-48 1111iiiui 1hIUUI1u1h1i
3 1262 08918 7214

According to reports rco-ived frc! r- nrufe.oturoer.s. an ,o.:...a.::iiiii
of 1.18 pounds. of cotton was used force ach. po.und of cotto% ooauh. ....
and twine manufactured in 1937. Of tht total cotton reported us.inG,
slightly more then one-fourth was cotton waste and slightly loss
than three-fourths vas cotton lint. Ilore than 40 percent of the !.;;
waste used was card strips and more than 20 prcrent mas comber W ft ..w
Post of the cotton lint used vwas of seven-eighths of rn inch orn-. :
fifteen-sixteenths of an inch staple and more than half was ptroit 'I
low middling in grade. The pcrccntage of waste and grade and staple ii
of cotton ubed varied with the typc of product. :.,,i

Undoubtedly business conditions have been the most important |ii|i
factor influencing the consumption of cotton in cordagc and twine
during the last few yrars, and this factor is likely to continue.. tP
"be most important in the immediate future. Other factors of ik,.
portance are changing price relationships, changing uses, rand ta *!
nological developments. Changes in price relationships, unless 4extE...
are likely to be of only limited importance. Changing use-s aud
technological developments nay be of. aroat importance over a long T
period of tine, but their effect is likely to be felt only gradanllfr..li


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