Rope is made for the most part of twisted hemp or other similar material. The old and tedious process of manufacturing by hand upon a ropewalk has been in great measure superseded by a machine invented by Captain Stoddart and since improved upon, the advantages of this process being an absolute uniformity of shape and a more equal tension of the component parts. From 16 to 25 yards of hemp form a strand, three strands a hawser, four strands a shroud, and three shrouds or hawsers a cable. A rope is said to be cable-laid when it is composed of three large strands, each consisting of three smaller ones, and hawser-laid when composed of three strands. A stiff rope, without much capacity for bending, is made by twisting six strands around a seventh, which passes as an axis through the middle. Tarring a rope increases its power of resisting the action of water, but takes away from its strength. Manilla hemp makes a very strong rope. Other materials employed in rope-making are steel wire, with or without a hempen core, and cocoa-nut fibre, while in some places bark is used for the purpose.