A Baggywrinkle consists of a woven “sinnet” which is wrapped in a tight spiral to form a cylinder-shaped “bristle brush” in the rigging. On traditional sailing vessels like VEGA it’s common to have multiple sets of baggywrinkles all throughout the standing and running rigging… anywhere that a sail might otherwise rub against wire, seizings, blocks, ratlines, etc.
In theory, baggywrinkles could be made out of most any rope (nylon, dacron…). But ask us ‘old-timers’ and we’ll explain that baggywrinkles aren’t supposed to be droopy or soft, or else they’ll get pushed flat by the sail… which is self-defeating and greatly reduces the level of protection. So what normally makes a good handling rope for its soft handling and flexibility is the exact opposite of what makes a good baggywrinkle.
We solved that problem by recycling some old NavyFlex line we had on board. The NavyFlex is not affected by the weather in the least, stays stiff and ‘bristly’, and also has the advantage of not soaking up the black soot that seems to be in the rain everywhere these days. The work to make is exactly the same but the long-lasting results are amazing. Oh, and they look like the old style originals made from hemp line.