Dogbane for Cordage
Used With Permission of Karl Holte
dogbane for cordage was an important process. If the material was not
properly prepared then the cordage could not be tightly twined into
a sturdy cordage.
In the late fall or early winter dogbane with tall straight stalks was
located and gathered.
A sharp tool or knife was used to carefully scrape off
the thin, red bark.
3. The stalk was cracked open between thumbs and fingers almost
to the end. A few inches were left uncracked
to use as a
handle to keep fibers from tangling.
4. To loosen the fibers from the stalk one half of the stalk was
placed with the pithy inside against the
wrist. The pith was
broken into short sections.
5. The same was done with the second side of the stalk.
6. The bits of pith were removed from the fibers by shaking the
fibers and scraping them with fingernails.
7. The fibers were gently rubbed to separate them from each other.
The fibers were ready to be twined into cordage.
Note: This process was also followed in the preparation of milkweed.
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