Jan 02, 2021
1 mins read
During the winter leafy fibres are few and far between but there's still a few to be found !
If you don't have one already, I recommend you get yourself a spider plant! Their leaves are lovely and soft to cord and twine with and you can collect them as the outer leaves naturally die off throughout the year.
They're really easy to look after and regularly sprout little spider plant babies you can gift to your friends (then you can get them to give you their leaves too..)
Keep an eye out for browning leaves. The leaves which have recently turned brown are much better and easier to work with than leaves that have been hanging around for a time, which tend to turn brittle and weak.
After removing the dead leaves check they are fully brown. Often at the base they remain a little green. If so, you want to leave the leaves in a dry and airy place to finish completely drying.
Once you've collected a suitable amount of leaves for your project and you're ready to work with them it's time to rehydrate them!
The trick with rehydrating plant material is always to use the smallest amount of water to make them flexible enough to work with but no more! Too much water and the plant matter will swell meaning that once dried you'd be left with loose cordage or a saggy basket..
The best way with spider plant leaves I find is either a quick dip under the tap then placed on the side for a couple of minutes or spray them with a misting bottle then wrap in a moist towel for ten minutes.
When checking if they're ready to work with you want them to be soft and pliable but not soggy.
Cordage - not the strongest cordage in the world but useful to use decoratively and for practising cording skills.
Twining - lovely to use as weavers in twining around other stiffer materials for spokes such as: willow bark, reedmace and rush etc as when damp spider plant completely looses it's rigidity.
The two cordages below are from different spider plant varieties and are quite different in colour and texture so its worth having a plant around!