Sunday, September 18, 2016

N.Z. flax

A few weekends ago, I met my friend Deb at the coast to collect NZ flax at a Jo's house. Jo generously let us cut flax leaves from the plants surrounding her house.  Amazingly enough, after 8 of us cut leaves for about an hour, you couldn't even tell we were there, unless you were standing next to the plants.

Deb showed how to prepare the flax leaves for weaving that evening.  We don't know what species Jo is growing, but we had cut leaves that were 8-10 feet tall.  However, as we soon learned, a lot of the bottom portion is unusable for weaving and/or fiber.

I decided that I wanted to prepare mostly fiber.  Here's some fiber that I produced by softening the leaves with a butter knife, and then 'combing' it many times with a dog comb.  My fiber is not as white as the Maori fiber, and I am wondering if that is because it's a different species.  


I need to practice my leaf prepping so that I don't get those striations.

Another clamshell rattle.  This one is red and yellow cedar bark, willow bark, waxed linen, and the top rows are NZ flax cordage (from Jo's house).

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