Manila Landscaping Rope – Biodegradable Natural Fiber, Decorative and Economical

Manila landscaping rope (natural and synthetic, also known as UnManila or ProManila) is specified mostly in diameters 1″, 1 1/4″, 1 1/2″, and 2″. It’s used for example, in fencing, and as decorative railings on decks and back yard bridges. Sometimes it’s just a matter of stringing some rope through holes drilled in posts to create a great looking border or fence.

Or you can just wrap some rope around a couple of posts for no particular reason and it looks great.

So landscape contractors and designers make use good of natural and synthetic fiber rope and twines as design elements.

Manilla rope fence

Lisa chose 2″ Manila rope for the above as well as this great look

Note: natural rope generally shrink 10% to 15% in length - temporarily, until they dry out - whenever it rains.

They also tend to run oversize in diameter, so it’s a good idea to get your rope first, then drill the holes. Suggested minimum sizes – 1 1/2″ holes for 1″ rope, 1 7/8″ holes for 1 1/4″ , 2 1/4″ holes for 1 1/2″, 3″ holes for 2″. Why so big? Because when the rope shrinks in length it increases in diameter. So if, after it rains, the rope doesn’t have room to ‘breathe’ and dry out completely where it’s going through the holes, it will rot in those spots.

If you're planning to replace old Manila rope, the following is very important:

If the old rope measures 2″ in diameter, it probably did not start out as 2″ rope. It is more likely 1 1/2″ rope that has swelled up over time to 2″. Accordingly, if it measures 3″ in diameter, it was almost surely 2″ when it was new. So if you’re putting new rope through existing holes, be sure to measure the holes, then order based on the above guidelines. Again, if the rope barely fits through the holes, moisture will collect in those spots and the rope will fail before it’s time.

Manilla rope fence

Manila rope

Manilla rope is not as strong as nylon or polypropylene, but the natural appearance is great, especially for landscape purposes. The fact that it’s biodegradable is also a plus.

On the other hand, there may be good reason to choose the synthetic option, UnManila , also referred to as Pro Manila. It doesn’t shrink or swell and is not affected by water or most chemicals.

Or if you’re going for a nautical look, polyester composite – white with a colored tracer –polypropylene, polyester, or twisted nylon landscaping rope – some for sale on this site, some not – may work for you.

Manila Alternatives

Piece of yellow manila landscaping rope

Sisal rope and twine – Sisal rope is similar to manila but much is lighter in color, about 20 percent lower in strength, and is not stocked in larger diameters. Sisal rope plant hangers and baskets are favored by designers.

Piece of green manila landscaping rope

Jute twine – Jute twine is available in natural tan color and dyed to a green color to blend in when used by landscape contractors. It holds a knot very well, and has a softer feel than sisal twine.

Rope hammocks, rope swings, and kids climbing sets – It makes sense to purchase these from companies who specialize in their manufacture and are aware of applicable safety requirements.

In performing their work – for lifting, dragging, and tree trimming and other high elevation work – landscape contractors use stronger, more durable synthetic rope, lifting slings and fall protection equipment.

Here is a landscape related website you may want to bookmark or visit: