So I got a new hemp rope, about 1.3 inch in diameter. The intended use is for "rope climbing" - hang the rope indoors from a ceiling and climb up along it using only the hands.

I have read that a hemp rope shrinks when first washed, and that it loses a bit of the original stretchability.

Does anyone experienced with hemp ropes know if a new rope needs to be washed and dried before first use? Or can I just tie it up? It will be tied directly to (sturdy) metal rings in the ceiling.

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    You might want to clarify in the question what activity this is. When I first read this, I thought you meant you were going to go rock climbing with a hemp rope. Are you hanging a rope indoors, vertically, from a ceiling and then shinnying up it? If so, then why do you care if the rope stretches or not? – Ben Crowell Oct 13 at 14:06
  • Yes, that is the intended use. The question text already said rope climbing and I have now added a further clarification. I don't actually care if the rope stretches or not (it is not significant anyway), but since I have zero experience with hemp ropes, I was wondering if washing a hemp rope was generally recommended before using it. – Yogesch Oct 13 at 15:24
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    I do not have any experience with hemp ropes but one big issue with them (while still used for rock climbing) was that a wet rope would only dry on the outside but rot from inside until it too weak. With this in mind, I am sceptical about washing them at all – Manziel Oct 13 at 15:35
  • Why would you wash it at all? – Separatrix Oct 14 at 9:18
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    For a rope to be safe to climb it wants to have a load rating around 3-4 times the maximum load you're expecting to put on it, worrying about making it slightly stronger is academic. – Separatrix Oct 15 at 7:29

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