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Re: What, if not cotton?
Not mixed with cotton, but thicker than thread for that chunky look. These are, Chinese knotting cord, braiding cord, macrame cord, S-Lon 400 Tex (also a beading cord!). There's probably heaps more, but these are some that I buy.
They are strong, won't discolor and heaps better than wool.
There are a few things I've made with S-Lon #18 Beading cord, in my album, Irene's Tatted Bits. Word of warning, it can be a little slippery to work with if you are not used to it. It bothered me very much at first, but I got over it in time!