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For the song "Small Stuff" by The Dismemberment Plan, see the entry called " ! ". For the song "Small Stuff" by Alabama, see Small Stuff (song).

Small-stuff is a nautical and knot-tying term for thin string or twine, as opposed to the thick, heavy ropes that are more often used in sailing. It is commonly used in a whipping to bind the ends of ropes to prevent fraying.

Historically, the term referred to cordage less than one inch in circumference.[1] Much of the small-stuff onboard ships, especially that used for decorative or fancy ropework, was made by the sailors themselves reusing materials unlaid from old and leftover pieces of larger rope and cable.[2]


  1. ^ Clifford W. Ashley, The Ashley Book of Knots (New York: Doubleday, 1944), 603.
  2. ^ Ashley, 549.