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I'm exploring how to make twine with local materials.

I don't have any (known) stinging nettles and the blackberry brambles have already hardened for the season.  I've been watching youtube videos about different fibers for cordage and Yucca showed up in my feed.  Here are a couple of videos that were helpful and below that are some photos I took while making Yucca cordage.





you can even make soap from Yucca


This morning, I went out to the Yucca patch and gathered about a dozen leaves.

Step 1: Harvest Yucca
I cut the stems down low near the base of the plant with scissors and brought them inside.

Step 2: Remove the Coarse 'Hair-Like' Fibers - just pull them off

Step 3: Pound on the Leaf
I used a wooden spoon with a big flat-ish back and the kitchen counter (covered with black plastic to prevent staining)  Turns out my shirt did get stained green - the counter would have been fine.

Step 4: Expose the Fibers
I used a different wooden spoon with a steeper edge to scrap the waxy coating and the dark green coating off of the fibers

Here is a brief materials processing video I made of Steps 3 & 4:


Step 5: Separate the Fibers
Using my fingernails, I separated the fibers.

Step 6: Spin

Step 7: Ply

Alternate Step 6&7: Use the Twist and Fold method described in the videos to make cordage without a drop spindle

Step 8: Measure - 20 feet for the BB
I made about 9 feet from six leaves and plan to make more tomorrow.

One of many lessons learned: round things work better than straight things for pounding and scraping.  I tried a putty knife and it gouged my surface without doing much to the leaf.  The spoons worked much better and I was able to control where and how they affected the surface much easier than the straight edge of the putty knife.



1.JPG
Find your plant :)
Find your plant :)
2.JPG
Harvest with a sharp knife or scissors
Harvest with a sharp knife or scissors
3.JPG
Collection of Yucca Leaves
Collection of Yucca Leaves
4.JPG
I'm going inside - it is a bit cold out.
I'm going inside - it is a bit cold out.
5.JPG
Trying different tools
Trying different tools
6.JPG
Spoons worked best - the larger flat spoon for pounding on the leaves and the narrower spoon to remove the wax and chlorophyll layer
Spoons worked best - the larger flat spoon for pounding on the leaves and the narrower spoon to remove the wax and chlorophyll layer
7.JPG
the hairs, wax, and chlorophyll - remove them all
the hairs, wax, and chlorophyll - remove them all
8.JPG
stripped leaves at the bottom and separated fibers at the top
stripped leaves at the bottom and separated fibers at the top
9-Spin.JPG
Spin on a drop spindle
Spin on a drop spindle
10-prep-to-ply.JPG
Make and Andean Plying Bracelet and Ply the Cordage
Make an Andean Plying Bracelet and Ply the Cordage
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i planted several yucca glauca up north this fall
unfortunately something was messing with them... hopefully they make it!
the one pictured close up is in the centre of the photo near the bottom in the 2nd pic
looking forward to making soap and cordage


 
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Location: Southern WV
foraging chicken fiber arts
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Just love finding natural fibers in my yard.  When I did gather some leaves, I dried some fresh leaves & soaked some in rain water.Also gathered some fallen dried leaves & soaked them as well, to see which ones could be spun into some kind of thread. But I didn't scrape off the outer layer. Next time I am scraping the leaves, that's a promise.
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