Parachute cord also referred to as 550 cord or paracord is a fine nylon rope that was first made popular in World War 2 as the material used for the suspension lines for US parachutes.

Soldiers who had limited resources soon realized the benefits of separating paracord, and the numerous applications of the inner strings as well as the outer sheath. The outer sheath is tightly interwoven and allows the material to look smooth and is comfortable to wear on the body. 

This distinctive feature is a major factor in the wide acceptance of paracord in mainstream use. It has been used as accessories such as bottles, bracelets, as well as knife sleeves. It has also led to the production of paracord to be a general-purpose cord that can be used for civilian and military purposes.

While it is used for a variety of commonplace purposes it has not been able to lose its status as a practical military cord. The majority of soldiers prefer paracord for many applications that are light in weight, such as fixing and the securing of equipment, shelter construction binding, and even for first aid.

The inner strings (of seven) can be trimmed and used to create fishing lines and sewing fabric. It is also possible to join each end of a one piece paracord through melting using an open flame or heated knife.