Monday, November 02, 2020

Kudzu Cordage

Making twine / cordage is another thing I learned thanks to's SKIP program. It's honestly something I never considered, but it's one of the requirements for the first level textile badge, so I gave it a go. We could choose any plant material we wanted, so, like my little basket, I chose kudzu.

I chose thick kudzu vines to work with.

The first step is to pound the vine to loosen the fibers.

After a good pounding, the vines split apart easily.

I kept splitting until I had a pile of thin strips.

This is a two-handed job, but I had to use one hand to take some pictures! I started by tying off two strands to a chair. 

Each hand twists a strand in the same direction. As the
 twist builds, the strands are twisted together in the opposite
direction. This is called the 2-ply reverse method.

It's the same as twisting fringe! I just never considered doing it with natural home-sourced material.

When one of the strands gets to the end, a new strand is added by twisting the two together. 

A little further along.

I ended up with about 20 feet. 

I was happy with how easy this was to do, and not quite as boring as I might have thought. It's a useful skill and I'm thinking I'd like to try homemade cordage for basket weaving. Some day.