Here at the Hotwire, we often find ourselves clarifying questions that customers have about our products. The other day, we received this question:
I received your product, and I noticed that there are colored threads inside of the cable I purchased from you. What does that do? Does it effect my cable's performance?
Astute cable users will notice that there are, in fact, colored threads that are stranded into the cable. If you have never noticed it, feel free to pick up a scrap piece of cable, and unstrand the end an inch or two. (We'll give you a minute or two to experiment! For those not as curious, take a look at the picture below.)
Note: Marker thread is so small, it is hard to see. This is an 1/8" cable zoomed in on.
This thread is actually referred to as "Marker Thread." The tracer filament is nylon fiber that is a non-strength adding member of the cable. During production, it is stranded into the finished product for identification purposes only. Manufacturers have their own distinct color codes, and this tracer helps identify who produced the cable.
Many customers in the past have asked us, "Does this hurt my cable's performance," or, "Is this a good way to visually identify cable wear?" The answer to both is a solid no. These tracers were designed to not impede cable performance. The fragile nature of the marker thread makes it prone to breaking into shorter pieces within the cable, meaning that when unstranding, it is more likely to resemble many shorter pieces than a continuous thread. It is also not uncommon for marker thread to protrude out of the side of a bare cable when it is being used.
Well, that should sum it up. Hopefully this will answer our reader's questions, and if not, feel free to shoot me an email by clicking the button below. Don't forget to swing by our Loos & Company website for more information about our products and services.