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Making Lime Bast Rope

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Lime bast fibre is a strong and flexible inner bark that has been used to make clothing and other textiles. In Norway, lime bast fibre is also used to make rope. Filmmaker Silje Ensby captured how Norwegians have been making it for over a thousand years:

Ropemaker Ingunn Undrum and boatbuilding apprentice Dennis Bayer head out to harvest the bark of lime trees (linden tree), in the spring when the sap is rising.

The paper thin layers of bast are glued together, and need to soak for a long time in the sea to seperate. The water in the Hardanger fjord is cold even during summer, so the bark is soaking until fall, for 3-4 months.

Ropemaker Sarah Sjøgreen lays the bast rope, and makes a traditional carrying rope with three strands, for transporting the cut grass during hay making season. The bast is naturally water proof, and rots very slowly compared to other rope materials. This explains why it has been found intact in viking excavations dating back to the 800s.

Next: How To Make Rope From Grass, creating trenzas (braided rope) from paja in Urbina, Ecuador, and Edwardian Farm: Making rope from sisel fiber.

Bonus: All things Primitive Technology.

via Gizmodo.

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