Manila is a hard natural fiber, with moderate tensile strength and very easy to handle. Manila stretches very little and holds a knot well. It is specially waterproofed, rot and mildew resistant, but will be damaged over time if not stored dry. Chemicals will also cause it to deteriorate.
Manila is very popular for public utility construction and repair because it will not melt on contact with hot wires or equipment like synthetics do. It will burn, however, if the temperature is very high or if the rope is in contact with the wires and/or equipment for an extended period of time.
Polypropylene rope is the most popular all-purpose rope for the average consumer. It is economically priced and has a wide range of functionality. It is highly flexible and has minimum stretch. Polypropylene has great loading resistance, and is about twice as strong as Manila.
Polypropylene rope is functional because it has good abrasion qualities as well a chemical resistant. It is the light weight and floats, and is very popular for pool markers and water sports. A type of polypropylene is Hollow Braid, which is very popular because it can easily be spliced.
Poly can be affected by sunlight deterioration, more than any other synthetic or natural fiber rope, but its life can be extended by storing it away from direct sunlight. Polypropylene begins to weaken and melt at 150°F, the lowest melting point of all synthetic ropes.
Nylon rope is the strongest of all common use ropes. It is carries excellent working qualities and has superior shock absorbency. When stretched it has a "memory" for returning to its original length.
Nylon last 4-5 times longer than natural fibers because it has good abrasion resistance and is not damaged by oil or most chemicals. Nylon rope has good resistance to deterioration from sunlight, and is mildew resistant.
Polyester rope is very close to nylon in strength when a steady force is applied. However, polyester stretches very little and therefore cannot absorb shock loads as well. It is also as equally resistant to moisture and chemicals as nylon, but is superior in resistance to abrasion and sunlight. Polyester rope is the most popular general purpose rope in the boating industry.