Cordage

I recently took a class from the fabulous artist Alice Fox and she taught us the basics of making double twist cordage. We started with big pieces of material until we got the hang of it (that would be the blue on the far left) and then she left us to our own devices to explore. And explore I did.

Alice loves to use dandelion stems for her natural cordage. I didn’t have a lot of that but it was spring and the grass was sprouting so I grabbed a few blades, let it dry, and then I was hooked. I was racing out to the garden to get to the grass before the dog and the bunnies chomped the tips off.

I had a limited supply of grass and didn’t quite feel up to the work of dealing with brambles and their thorns. There’s a lot of experimenting to be done but I have to cut and dry a lot of natural materials first. So I started to look around the studio and see what might work. I could use yarn or fibers or pieces of material but I wanted something different.

Then I remembered all the threads I save (and use in making my nature clusters) and I wondered if I could make it work? I’m not a spinner but I did a bit of research and learned about thigh spinning so I tried that, just wetting the threads and rolling them back and forth on my thigh to make them stick together long enough for me to twist them.

And it worked! I just keep adding to it over time. It takes me about 45 minutes to do a yard. Mostly because of spinning the threads. I want to try a drop spindle and see if that would work for me.

Here’s a video of how I made the cordage from scraps of thread.
Click to watch video on YouTube

Have you made cordage before?

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