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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in textiles.

In this project, you will make twine from local plant material like nettles or suitable grasses.

To complete this Badge Bit, you must:
  -  make at least a 20 feet length of twine
  -  the twine must be plyed
  -  Post a picture of your raw materials
  -  Post a picture of your process of making twine
  -  Post a picture of your completed twine





make cordage from nettles


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master steward
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I found this one on using brambles/blackberries. It seems to use the same basic process as with nettles. Would blackberry cordage count, too?



Another thing I noticed was that late winter doesn't seem the best time to try to make cordage--instead late spring/early summer is the best cordage time?
 
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Would two 12 foot lengths qualify or does it need to be one, 20 foot length?
 
Nicole Alderman
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r ranson
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The difficulty was how many nettles I had on hand at one time.  I think I'll splice the two lengths together and make one 24 foot length.  That would fit the wording of this BB.
 
r ranson
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The nettles are a tiny bit young just now.  I chose a patch that was starting to flower and there is a nice watery layer between the pith and the skin which made it easy to separate, but the pith is still a bit soft.  The fibres in the skin are plenty strong enough for this.

for plying, I used Andean Plying
IMG_0622.JPG
raw materials
raw materials
IMG_0626.JPG
stripping the skin
stripping the skin
IMG_0630.JPG
a bunch of skin
a bunch of skin
IMG_0644.JPG
each skin naturally separates into four, so I divided them this way.
each skin naturally separates into four, so I divided them this way.
IMG_0639.JPG
I used a spindle to add twist, then I used a version of Andean Plying to ply the twine
I used a spindle to add twist, then I used a version of Andean Plying to ply the twine
IMG_0652-(2).JPG
finished twine. Measures about 22 feet (that's my feet, as I didn't have a ruler)
finished twine. Measures about 22 feet (that's my feet, as I didn't have a ruler)
Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I certify that this badge bit is complete!...and that I need to go and make some twine from my nettle, too!

 
Nicole Alderman
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I have made nettle twine-ish thing! It's a little over 24 feet, as I was holding it to the ceiling while my son spun the spindle to ply it, and I did that four times.

I used leather gloves to smash the nettle stings (I'm too chicken to do it with bare hands!) and "broke" the stalks with a rolling pin on a cutting board. I pealed the skin from the thick end down to the thin end of the stalk. I didn't get four equal strands. I probably did something wrong there, because I couldn't figure out how to remove it from the pulp in one strip, so just pealed off individual strips.

I first spun two nettle fibres together, and when one would run out, I'd overlap it with another for at least 4 inches. it was hard to tuck in the ends, but I got a bit better as time went on.

I tried the Andean plying, but had a really hard time figuring it out (having kids bugging me didn't help!) and I probably did it wrong, which was likely why it was hard to do. I did find this video helpful for the Andean Plying.



But, I did it! I made a yarn-twine-thing! ...now what can I do with this?

IMGP1731.JPG
Nettle
Nettle
IMGP1733.JPG
breaking it with a rolling pin
breaking it with a rolling pin
IMGP1735.JPG
pealing off the strips of fibre
pealing off the strips of fibre
IMGP1736.JPG
spinning it on the spindle from Raven's Homegrown Linen kickstarter
spinning it on the spindle from Raven's Homegrown Linen kickstarter
IMG_20190520_172714-1-.jpg
hand made and spun nettle twine on spindle
Now it's two ply!
IMG_20190520_172837-1-.jpg
close-up of the twining
close-up of the twining
Staff note (Dave Burton):

I hereby certify this BB as complete!

 
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I made cordage!  I used the inside phloem layer( had to look that up) of a fallen oak tree. It took several tries to figure out the reverse twist for the cordage then I thought 20 feet of this stuff, no way it must be 20 inches.  But after completing 20 feet I realized how much more I learned about adding material, harvesting more and keeping a consistent thickness to the rope. It totally amazed me that I was making cordage out of tree bark.  
bark.jpg
bark
bark
bark.jpg
bark
bark
making.jpg
making
making
measures-35-with-8-strands-equals-23-.jpg
measures 35 with 8 strands equals 23'
measures 35 with 8 strands equals 23'
finished-cordage.jpg
finished cordage
finished cordage
Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I hereby certify this BB as complete!

 
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dawn west wrote:I made cordage!  I used the inside phloem layer( had to look that up) of a fallen oak tree. It took several tries to figure out the reverse twist for the cordage then I thought 20 feet of this stuff, no way it must be 20 inches.  But after completing 20 feet I realized how much more I learned about adding material, harvesting more and keeping a consistent thickness to the rope. ...


Thanks for reminding me, Dawn. I have to finish my cordage. Yes, 20 feet is a lot of cordage, a lot of work! I made pieces of cordage several times and used them in my garden. But those only were a few feet long. Most of them were not even twined, just a single string. I use the inner bark (so that's called 'phloem'?) of the linden trees.
The first time I stopped it was because I had to collect more material. The second time it was because my fingers were hurting, I got a blister. But now the blister is cured, I can go on and finish my 20 feet of cordage!
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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I made my twine!
The material I used is the inner layer of the bark of branches fallen from the linden trees (Tilia xEuropaea).

bark of linden branches

I make small strips of that bark layer

material for twine

In that photo you saw I have a spindle filled with cordage ... but that isn't twined! This was the way I did it before, but the BB asks for 'twine', so I'll have to twine.

twining

I had to do the math. How many meters is 20 feet? 20 feet = (about) 6,10 m.
After some more hours of twining I thought I should have those 6 meters. I measured ... now I have plenty of twine, even over 8 meters!

More than enough twine to get this BB
Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I hereby certify this BB as complete!

 
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