Cordage - Palm fibre twine

I made string today out of the fibres that my very tall palm tree makes leaves out of.

It looks like this, and is surprisingly strong.

Not strong like really thin 80lb fishing line is strong, but strong like brown string is strong.

I think the natural brown string is made from hemp. And I would say this home made version is about a quarter of the strength of store bought brown string.

A quick search tells me the Japanese make palm fibre twine, and you might have seen it used for Japanese themed bamboo fencing to lash different lengths of bamboo together. It's dyed black in Adelaide's Japanese garden. .

The fibres look like this when in their natural state, and come from the flared out section where the frond meets the trunk.

The dead leaves stay hung up in the tree until a windy day deposits them all onto the BMW next door.

I still haven't made more than a foot long length of the stuff, so what I've made has no real value for tying stuff up, but as soon as I can arrange a lesson from my brother, I'll post up a how to.

When I was a kid in Papua New Guinea, my family owned a fishing net shop. Some of the locals would buy our green string (as seen in this post on making a blow dart), because it had great fibres, but they didn't like the string for some other reason. They would pick it apart and then rebuild it into string to make string bags known as Bilum.

Their string was substantially better than my string.

I'm going to get better at it until I can make some useful string, and then make that into useful rope.

120 Things in 20 years might take a while at getting better at this, because some of my favourite people gave me a Ukulele for my birthday.

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