En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Natural fibers for lashing bamboo in weaving

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 07, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Poisonous Plants, Cacti and Succulents, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Natural fibers for lashing bamboo in weaving
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Austin and am looking for plants I can use for weaving fibers, e.g. lashing bamboo for a small project. What plants and parts do you recommend? What resources do you recommend for information on when and how to harvest, and how to prepare the fibers? Thank you!

ANSWER:

We are always touched by the confidence our friends on the other end of the computer line have in our range of abilities and knowledge. This question involves plants and may even involve native plants, but it is still not in our comfort zone. However, we will get out and take a look on the web and see if we can find someone who DOES know what he/she is talking about.

Article by Jim Hwang from the Taiwan Review, April 1, 2004 on Sun Yeh-chi's work with organic materials to make creations that echo the natural world.

"Native American Cordage Technology" by Tara Prindle from Suite 101 website.

Native Tech: Native American Technology and Art - Uses for Cattails, text and graphics also by Tara Prindle.

Plants for a Future website article on Fiber Plants.

Making Cordage from Natural Fibers. Adapted from Participating in Nature: Thomas J. Elpel's Field Guide to Primitive Living Skills.

From these articles, we tried to find some plants native to North America that you might access for your project. These four were all mentioned in various articles, but frankly, we wouldn't be too thrilled about tackling them for fibers.

Apocynum cannabinum (Indianhemp) - all parts of plant poisonous

Asclepias asperula (spider milkweed)

Yucca pallida (twistleaf yucca)

Agave havardiana (Havard's century plant)


Apocynum cannabinum

Asclepias asperula

Yucca pallida

Agave havardiana

 

 

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Native plants for morning sun in Pembroke MA
October 07, 2009 - Could you please suggest native groundcover,plants/shrubs/grasses for eastern facing slope which gets morning sun? It is my front yard which slopes down toward driveway so it would be a major focal po...
view the full question and answer

Native alternative to tulips from Milford MI
October 15, 2013 - What could be a good alternative to tulips? I have not seen a native plant quite like a tulip (except a tulip tree). A good alternative should bloom in April or May and have showy flowers. I searched...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Copper Canyon Daisy from Austin
June 08, 2014 - We had 3 copper canyon daisies. Two of them bloomed profusely last year, but only one has come back this spring. We cut them all back as instructed. When it was clear that two were not coming back, we...
view the full question and answer

Plants for sunny dry soil location
August 22, 2010 - Do any native plants exist in a highly sunny very dry soil location? (high overhang prevents rain but allows sun)
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent erosion on slope in Texas
June 19, 2010 - We have an erosion problem developing on the low side of a gently sloping hill. We are in clay soil at the base of the hill with oaks and pines. We have a right of way that is without trees forty fee...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center