In making a rope or line the fibres (A) of hemp, jute, cotton, or other material are loosely twisted together to form what is technically known as a "yarn" (B).
When two or more yarns are twisted together they form a "strand" (C).
Three or more strands form a rope (D), and three ropes form a cable (E).
To form a strand the yarns are twisted together in the opposite direction from that in which the original fibres were twisted. To form a rope the strands are twisted in the opposite direction from the yarns of the strands, and to form a cable each rope is twisted opposite from the twist of the strands. In this way the natural tendency for each yarn, strand, or rope to untwist serves to bind or hold the whole firmly together.