A parachute cord is a lightweight nylon cord originally used as a parachute suspension line. The cord is now used as a general-purpose cord. It is composed of a core surrounded by a woven sheath. The core consists of several strands of nylon twisted together. The sheath is usually made from 32 interwoven strands of nylon. The yarns in the sheath are usually treated with an ultraviolet light stabilizer to protect them from sunlight.
The most common use for parachute cord is as a tie-down or guy-line. It is also used in making bracelets, lanyards, keychains, and other crafts. Parachute cord is also used by climbers, sailors, and campers.
The parachute cord has a breaking strength of 550 pounds (250 kg). The cord is rated for a maximum safe load of about 1/10 its breaking strength.
Parachute cord is available in a variety of colors, including black, olive drab, and camo. It is also available in glow-in-the-dark and reflective varieties.
Parachute cord is manufactured to Mil-C-5040H specifications. It is also known as 550 cord, paracord, or utility cord.