Types of wire insulation

I decided to throw this out there hoping some folks would have good information on the subject of wire insulation types.

I'm regularly frustrated by PVC insulation that is A) stiff, B) nicks really easily thus ruining the wire, and C) doesn't strip cleanly i.e the insulation tears or stretches.  B and C are at odds with each other which is weird.

Here's an example:


This is pretty basic multi-conductor wire with PVC insulation.  It's pretty stiff and if you aren't super careful removing the outer jacket, you might nick the insulation of one of the conductors.  You might not even notice it too until you've spent a lot of time installing crimp connectors at which point you utter a lengthy stream of expletives.  Or you try to solder a wire and the insulation softens just a little too much and pulls away.

Silicone wire is soft and flexible but it's stupid expensive and hard to find multi-conductor cables.  A quick glance at Mouser's search engine shows 26 types of insulation material.  Where can I find a comparison chart on the qualities of this stuff?  Does anyone have any recommendations on more forgiving wire?

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