Sunday, 12 August 2012

Bramble Cordage

Was clearing out some of the brambles along the back wall earlier today, but rather than chop them all up for disposal, i decided to keep a couple of the stems back and make some cordage with them instead.

The preparation of the Bramble is pretty straight forward, first remove all of the side shoots and leaves, i just used the back of my knife and scrapped it all down so it was smooth, once this was done i split each Bramble stem into four pieces, thankfully the Bramble splits really easily and it's simple to keep the split running straight down the middle of the shoot.

Once the stems had been quartered, i removed all of the white pith inside, again by scrapping it out with my knife, then i flattened the stem out with my fingers, this process starts to loosen the outer fibres from the harder woody material, once the fibres had been worked, it's a simple mater to just peel them off in long strips, now if you are clever, you can save the woody section of the Bramble and use that fresh, as a lashing for larger items such as poles for shelter building, or if you want to keep it, bind it together and retain for future use, but remember to soak it before you use it to make it a little more pliable.

The outer fibres can be rolled into string, just as you would do with Nettles or tree bark, the photo directly above shows the mass of fibres gained form just one Bramble stem, and a roll of the inner material that I've saved for later use.  The outer fibres i dried off in the sunshine this afternoon and then wetted down again, before rolling them into the hank of cordage in the very top photo, from two Bramble stems of around 3ft in length, I've made approx 10 feet of double ply cordage, and the best thing is, I've not damaged the plant as it will grow back and the cordage, well if i loose it or use it, it will simply rot down and return to nature.

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