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how to shrink paracord

How to shrink paracord and why

Shrinking paracord has some interesting benefits.

You may have stumbled upon the issue of shrinking paracord. Some people advocate doing it, some say it is irrelevant. In this article I will show you why it is a good idea in some cases and why it is not is others.

Why shrink paracord?

There are two major reasons why one would go about shrinking paracord:

  1. Paracord that is shrunk will not shrink after exposed to moisture and heat. This means that shrinking paracord will ensure the item stays the same size.
  2. Shrinking paracord after you have already made something out of it also has a nice benefit. It grips the item firmly, which is useful for items such as knife/axe/tool wraps. Also, if you happened to make a too large bracelet, this could be a way to shrink it a bit.

Does it work?

Paracord does indeed shrink. But it is important to be aware of the fact that different manufacturers of paracord have different products. As such, some claim that paracord can shrink up to 10-15 percent, while others claim little change in length.

Original, military grade paracord for example shrinks fairly little (almost not worth it).

How to shrink paracord?

The process for shrinking paracord is really straightforward. You simply put the cord you want to shrink into hot/boiling water and wait 10-15 seconds. After that just wait for it to dry and the process is complete.

Is it worth it?

I do not use this technique often. But being aware that it exists may come in handy. Naturally it works great with tool/knife wraps!

What are your thoughts on shrinking paracord? Do you do it and when?

Do you use any other methods?

About Markwell

I am a defense science graduate. I like to create beautiful things out of paracord.

7 comments

  1. So if place cord around some handle that is tight already, it should grip even better when shrinked?

  2. What are your thoughts of shrinking the paracord after wrapping? Shrink to size.

  3. At what temperature does it shrink without melting it?

    • Hey!

      Hot water will do fine. It won’t melt in boiling water either, as long as it does not touch the surface that is heated (meaning the pot you are heating the water in).

      Mark

  4. I like to make turk’s head wiggles for my Boy Scout’s. When finished I put them on a piece of 1/2″ copper pipe and place in a 250* oven for about 10 minutes. Not sure how much it shrinks, but it does set the shape nicely.

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