Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
The Kid Should See This

Woven bark fiber mats made by Primitive Technology

Working in between heavy rains over the course of a few days, the man behind Primitive Technology created mats by collecting, stripping, and weaving thin strips of bark fiber together. From his blog:

It has been raining a lot here lately… and this caused a large wattle tree to fall down taking a few smaller trees with it. One of the trees was the type I use for fiber. So I stripped the bark from it and divided it into thinner strips back at the hut.

I spun the fiber strips into a rough yarn using a drop spindle. The drop spindle was basically the spindle and fly wheel I used in the pump drill video I made a while ago. A small stick was tied to the top of the drop spindle to act as a hook to make sure the fibers spun. I tied bark strips to the spindle and spun the spindle so it twisted the strip. When one strip ran out a new strip was added and twisted into the thread.

I then made a loom by hammering stakes into the ground and lashing cross bars to it. Stakes were hammered into the ground to hold every first string while a movable cross bar held every second string. When the bar was lifted a gap was formed where every second string was above every first string. Then when the bar was dropped a gap was formed where the opposite was true. So in this way the weaving thread could be drawn through over and under one way and then under over back the opposite way. The alternative was to weave by hand which would have taken longer.

making a woven bark fiber mat
In case you missed them, watch Making charcoal, baskets, & stone hatchets, Making a cord drill & pump drill from sticks & rocks, and more from Primitive Technology.

This award-winning video collection is reader-supported. Become a sustaining member to keep TKSST online and free for everyone, including teachers and parents who use it as a resource to spark learning and curiosity for kids.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Li Ziqi’s ‘The Life of Cotton’

Rion Nakaya

Tents that turn into jackets: Humanitarian fashion by designer Angela Luna

Rion Nakaya

Alexander Girard: Architect of Modern Living

Rion Nakaya

How to Make a Beeswax Wrap

Rion Nakaya

Demolishing an old hut to plant cassava and yams

Rion Nakaya

Adrian Esparza’s Wake and Wonder at the Pérez Art Museum Miami

Rion Nakaya

Making a celt hatchet and an A-frame hut – Primitive Technology

Rion Nakaya

Making a new felted kimono coat from recycled sweaters

Rion Nakaya

The Loneliest Tree in the World

Rion Nakaya