Introduction: Plant Fiber Cordage
I will show you how to make cordage from almost anything that can withstand twisting in case you ever find your self with out cordage and no store in sight. This could be used with other projects because the cordage here has a nice handmade look to it. The process is surprising easy so lets get started.
What you need:
Any fiber. Here I use jute twine as an example to make the photos clear. But you can use grass, weeds, vines, plastic bags, paper, or anything you can find enough of and can withstand twisting. Go out and experiment.
Step 1: Step 1: Starting the Cord
This is a little hard to explain. For practice I highly suggest using single strand jute twine cut to about 18 inches and get a few of them. (First photo)
First take one strand and hold it at an off center point. I usually find a point 3/4 from the end. This is so we can splice in other strands without making weak spots. (Second photo)
Hold with one hand at the 3/4th point and place you other hand about 2 inches away towards the longer end. Now twist this section between your hands tightly till the twine starts to twist up on its self. It should at this point start to look like the beginning of a twisted cord/rope. (Third photo)
Now not needed but make it look nicer starting here and every few inches or so ill twist the finished cord with the twists (so it tightens the twist and not loosen them) because this helps make it more uniform.
Step 2: Step 2: Make It Longer
Hold the cord with your left hand right at the point it forks. Now position it so that one piece of the untwisted twine is close to you and the other is away from you.
Then take the outside twine and twist it so its rolling towards you. Once you have a good tight twist roll both the newly twisted twine and the untwisted twine together so that the untwisted goes over top and the twisted goes under. This is a 180 roll so inside twine to outside.
Once you actually do this part it will be clear and easy. Continue with this until the short end has about 2 inches or so left.
Step 3: Step 3: Add a New Strand
Take a new strand and lay it next to the short strand. Now as before twist and roll the new strand and the old strand together. Soon you will get done with the old strand and you will just be twisting the new strand. If you take a moment to look at the uncompleted cord you should always see one longer than the other. If you ever find your self where they are the same size or close to it you make need to shorten one side. If you attempt to add two new strands at the some point you will introduce a weak spot.
Step 4: Step 4: Keep Going
You got it now. Its just repeating the last two steps and you can make a cord out of almost anything.
Also if you want to clean up your rope/cordage you can very quickly run a lighter over the line and that will burn off the stray fibers but leave the main body undamaged.