Cat6 cable

Does anyone know what this thread-like material to the right on the picture is?

Does it have anything to do with grounding?

It is a Cat6 U/UTP cable.

  • 6
    I've always used it as a way to strip back the outer coating. I don't know if this is what it's meant to be though.
    – agweber
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 15:30
  • 6
    @agweber that is correct. The current top answer is incorrect.
    – helrich
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 15:49
  • 3
    @agweber indeed. Google ripcord for more info
    – PlasmaHH
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 17:25
  • Could this be related or duplicate of this question?: serverfault.com/questions/128096/… Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 18:52
  • @Moderators seems like this question needs some protection
    – Aloha
    Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 17:31

6 Answers 6


It is used to split the outer shielding away without needing to use a sharp object which could potentially damage the wires themselves. It is commonly called a ripcord.

enter image description here

Image taken from http://netx.us.com/Product%20pdf/Copper_Solutions/A6.pdf


Its called a ripcord and is used to cut thru the outer casing of the wire so you don't have to use a knife. To those who say it is not strong enough your not using it right. Grab it with a pair of needle nose pliers wrap it around the tip a couple times and then pull back it works perfectly. I have used it as a ripcord for more than 30 years. Granted on really cheap cables it does not work well but then those cables don't work really well for network use either as the twist on the wire is not correct either. To the person who said it is to support the cable when pulling it, WRONG it does no good for that.


It has nothing to do with grounding or shielding -- those have to be metal, or metalised plastic.

Cables often have all kinds of filler materials to do with

  • Manufacturing processes
  • Handling properties
  • Strength

Do you have a reference for the cable?


I have been a Telecomms engineer for 45 years and I can definitely say its a rip cord


Ripcord, a cord of yarn under the jacket of an optical cable for jacket removal

  • 4
    Welcome to NE, we hope you will both contribute to and learn from this community. You could improve your answer by editing it to add more details to make it more useful both for the original poster and future users. Typically short answers like this could provide reasoning why you believe this is the answer, more explanation about the concepts mentioned, references/links to supporting resources, or applicable examples.
    – YLearn
    Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 10:00

I think you're all talking about two different things. There's ripcord and strength yarn. The Kevlar or nylon stands that surround the pairs can be used to strip the jacket, but are there to ensure that the whole assembly can withstand the specified 100lbs of pulling force without breaking. The single string (as shown in the previously shared graphic) that is often included is intended only to assist in stripping the jacket.


Yeah definitely not a rip-cord. It's not conductive either so nothing to with earthing the connection (you'd know if it was that). My best guesses are:

Left over from the manufacturing process Helps stop wires from bending too sharply There's also powder in the cable to help with any moisture, I wonder if this fibre string holds the powder.

Maybe there's multiple reasons. All I know for certain is it's annoying :D

  • The rip-cord (for that is what it is) has no resistance to bending. The powder is to stop the wires sticking together. Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 18:39
  • 2
    Can you back up your claim that it is "definitely" not a rip-cord? What makes you so certain? Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 19:26

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