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Sunday 7 August 2011

Zen and the art of Cordage Construction

Well over the past week the nettles have dried out and the cordage construction has been started

Once dried the nettle fiber loses a considerable amount of diameter, one of the main reasons not to use them wet as once it dries the cords end up loose and separating, so make sure they are perfectly dry before use

Half way through the coil, I've got about 20 feet of cordage here and you'll notice that I haven't soaked the cordage before use, do that at your peril!!! The easiest way is simply a slight scutching before starting.

And the finished Skein, 36 feet of approx 5mm nettle cordage..It's surprising how little cordage you get from such hard work, I enter a zen like state when doing cordage as I thoroughly enjoy it and can easily do it for hours at a time. But itcertainly gives me a new appreciation for the stuff, 1/2 hour to cut them, 1/2 hour to strip them, 2 hours to take the fibre off and 7 hours to make the cord !!!! So 10 hours for 36ft !! I certainly don't take it for granted..


  1. Hmmm. That's like testing your mettle with nettle. Ahem. Interestingly, I recently got a strong hankering to watch episodes of the old "Good Neighbors"/"The Good Life" (from the 70s--about Tom and Barbara deciding to live off the grid while staying in their suburban home.) Anyway, there was an episode in which she spent the whole time with green hands and arms from having used nettle to make dye for their home-crafted textiles. Thought of you and your nettle.

  2. Excellent.

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