Wednesday, February 26, 2014

4-ply Milkweed Cordage

4 Ply Milkweed Cordage Length 

To extract fibers:
Scrape off outer layer of stalk to remove broken or blemished fibers.
Split the dried milkweed stalk into quarters
Snap of chaff in half inch increments from inner part of stalk quarter.

This will leave you with various lengths of raw fiber.

Draw the fibers through a comb to isolate them and make them finer.

Create a loop in the center of your longest bundle of fibers and twist so that the cordage naturally winds up on itself.
Then using your thigh and your fingers, twist the two ends so that they continue the wind.

Add in the remaining fibers as you go, taking care not to create weak spots by adding them all at once. 
Continue on until the rope is the desired length.
This 2-ply cordage can be combined with another of the same to make a stronger length of cordage.