As a crocheter, I’ve always been interested in experimentation and pushing the bar on what can be defined as crochet.
I’ve used crochet in traditional projects, but also non-traditional projects, from mixed media art with metal filigree, to stitching up fishing line and telephone wire, etc..
Something I’ve been interested in playing around with, but haven’t yet, is 550 gut.
550 cord – aka paracord – aka parachute cord – is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of parachutes. It’s a very handy piece of gear used by paratroopers and other military personnel around the world.
As our good engineering friend would say, it’s one of the 4 elements for solving any problem during an apocalypse: as long as you have duct tape, paracord, zip ties and a hanger – there’s nothing you can’t build. You’re set!
The “gut” I mentioned above, however, refers to the individual threads inside the sheath of the 550 cord itself. In genuine 550 cord, there should be 7 or 9 strands inside. I grabbed some of our cord and snapped a photo so you can see what I’m talking about.
And while I’m not disinterested in the idea of crocheting with full-blown 550 cord, say for a fabulous project like this crocheted paracord backpack, I find the idea of working with the silky gut inside more interesting right now. While super strong, even as individual strings, the gut is pretty soft to the touch. And I’m curious to see how it might work up and whether it would stay silky soft once I put it into stitches.
Anyway, my husband was a paratrooper for the Texas Guard, so I’m quite familiar with the stuff. We always keep it around and it’s one of the best things to keep handy in a go bag or your emergency kit in the car. I’ve tied down many the piece of furniture in the truck with simple 550 cord.
Magic-awesome stuff. The problem is, usually it comes in much shorter lengths than I’d want for a crochet project.
If I’m going to work with it, I want at least 100 yards of unbroken, uncut 550 gut. While I can certainly skin my own paracord for the gut, I still need it in one giant length of *yardage,* not just a few feet. I do NOT want to work with a bunch of short, cut pieces. And I don’t want the junk they sell for crafts either. I want the real thing. And it’s not usually found in such long lengths.
Military-grade 550 cord, refers to the minimum weight of the cord’s rated breaking strength, measured in pounds – Mil-C-5040h Type III paracord. 550 paracord is for life-dependent uses. Hence paracord bracelets and other useful applications for easily carrying around an emergency piece of heavy-duty cord. Just in case you find yourself in need. There are only a few companies who make it for true military specs. And it’s not the craft store version.
Anyway, a friend recently listened to my idea of working with paracord gut and suggested I consider nano cord, specifically nano cord from a Atwood rope company. Turns out I can get it in a 100 yard spool on Amazon Prime. It’s not 550 gut, as it’s still sheath around I think 3 strands, but it is tested to 36 pounds. While I haven’t proven to myself that nano cord is mil-spec at all, it does seem interesting. So I think I’m going to snag a roll to play around with and see what I can do. AND I kinda want to see for myself if the gut is anything like real 550 gut.
So we’ll see. I’ll let you know when I get anything of interest going with that. 😉
Curious to learn more about 550 cord and all the useful wonders it bestows? I found you a pretty good resource (why recreate something that’s already good?). Check this well-written survival article out here.