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Thread: Where can I buy bags of plant fiber to make cordage/rope?

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    Default Where can I buy bags of plant fiber to make cordage/rope?

    Hi there!

    I'm doing a wilderness program, and I was wondering if I could buy bags of a plant fiber such as dogbane in order to make cordage/rope? What would it be called?



    Thanks!


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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    You buy stuff in a wilderness program? You don't forage for stuff in a wilderness program? Interesting.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Processing the fiber is part of the survival training experience and knowing how to twist cordage is of little use if you do not know how to obtain the fiber.

    If you wish to skip the first step of making cordage you can buy fibers of all kinds from most spinning and weaving craft suppliers.

    Wool and flax work especially well since spinning wool is actually making cordage on an industrial scale as is the working of flax into fiber.

    https://woolery.com/spinning-fibers/...ie-fibers.html

    Keep in mind that different cultures use different fibers and many primitive societies twist plain grass into usable rope. Many other cultures skip the making of cordage and use vines in place of rope.

    Personally, I am all over the use of "bank line" for most uses. You can buy about a mile of it for $10 at Walmart and quit worrying about twisting grass or pounding bark.
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    Senior Member Graf's Avatar
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    Get yourself some cat tail leaves or hickory bark. Better yet let the class get there own it will be real life
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimBinJin View Post
    Hi there!

    I'm doing a wilderness program, and I was wondering if I could buy bags of a plant fiber such as dogbane in order to make cordage/rope? What would it be called?



    Thanks!
    You know that really sounds odd,...Right.
    Anyway....
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    Ed edr730's Avatar
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    Any place that makes cedar poles or cedar slab wood will have plenty of bark around that you can pull off long strands of the inside bark for cordage. You'll want the tough inside bark that is close to the outside bark. Most cordage material, and especially inside bark will need to be rolled in your hands to soften it or you'll just have real rough looking cordage. I'd just grab what you can find and bend, twist and roll the stalk in your hands to see what fibers you end up with.
    I just learned how to make cordage a few years ago through the internet, I made some from different natural materials and some long snatch straps from level loop carpet fibers too. I've known how to take bark off a tree to tie things together since I was a boy so thats what I do or I use pine roots which you can split if you want the roots to be more flexible. As a boy, I removed or loosened the bark to make whistles, flutes and bull whips or just used it to tie branches together . This time of year, you can grab a piece of willow bark at the base and pull upward and you should get about 4 feet of usable bark for "cordage" or lashing. Later in the summer you can only strip off about an inch or two and you will think it's impossible but you can still cut all the limbs off the sapling, split it in half and then peel the bark. Hickory is what my grandfather used when he made such things for us and it has some strong inside bark. Anyhow, cordage is good to know and was fun to learn, but it takes time and there are easier things to use if you only need to lash things together or make mats, baskets or whatever.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimBinJin View Post
    Hi there!

    I'm doing a wilderness program, and I was wondering if I could buy bags of a plant fiber such as dogbane in order to make cordage/rope? What would it be called?



    Thanks!
    I'm not sure if you are teaching or taking, but in either case it may put a damper on the entire program. If you are teaching, your students will not have the experience of procuring the materials to make cordage. If you are taking then you will not have the knowledge and experience of gathering the materials.

    I reserve my purchases for cordage that is already made - tarred bank line, paracord, amsteel, etc.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I say "Drive by".........
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    You buy stuff in a wilderness program? You don't forage for stuff in a wilderness program? Interesting.
    Rick, it sounds a lot like a merit badge clinic at a summer camp. You give 4 hours for the merit badge to be completed. You have a 14-16 year old teaching it. They have to teach the whole merit badge, and have everyone in the class pass off the requirements, and try and keep the students entertained (half of whom don't want to be there). The cordage section is probably 10 minutes tops, where you just show them how to twist the stuff, and then have them try it out... and then move on to the next topic. In the end, no one learned anything and everyone gets a badge.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    That kinda the way things are going to be PC....and keep parents off your 6

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  11. #11

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    Any Tractor supply or feed store. Just unravel the Jute twine and re-make it yourself. You can teach yourself how to do it in 10 minutes, from youtube vids, but it's a slow, laborious, arthritis-inducing pita to make more than a few yds of even thin cordage. To make a lot of heavy rope will take you a week, 12 hours per day, with almost no breaks of more than a very few minutes.

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