Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dogbane fibers

 Ok, so I've had this dried plant arrangement on my old Singer sewing machine table all winter and finally found out that it is Dogbane! So what? Well, it seems you can make some pretty strong cordage from the fibers. I found this out from this website and tried it! So, I decided to get enough to make some garters.

 The stems break into four slats all the way to the top.
 I gathered these at the end of the winter and snipped them close to the base. they are about 2-3 feet long.


Then I just broke the slats into 2 or 3 inch sections and peeled them off the bark/fiber, trying to keep as long an unbroken piece of fiber as I could.

 This is one stalk peeled and separated from the inner core. The very center is pretty pithy.
 Nice to see the morning glory/chokeweed vines wrapped around them. Do pessimists call them chokeweed and optimists call them morning glories?

 This is a hank of fiber from about 10 stalks. I guess it is enough to make a cord about 5 feet long depending on how thick you make it.
 This is the culmination of my harvest for the day. It took about an hour to pick and peel it all. I rubbed the hank onto itself to get some of the dark brown bark off the outsides of the fiber. It seemed to make the fiber a little softer. I'll post more when I get some cordage or garters made.
Yay spring!

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