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Discovering Natural Fibres: Cordage, String and Twine

  1. Prepare fibres from weighed samples of an Australian native plant eg tussock grass, stringy bark, spinifex or lomandra.
    • What percentage of the plant's original weight is useful fibre?
    • Make string or rope from your fibres.
    • Make a short video of your process.
  2. Investigate other plants used to provide fibres for rope and string and prepare a report.
  3. Investigate and collect samples of synthetic fibres used to make cordage and ropes.
    • Design tests for properties which make them useful.
  4. Tie some knots with your string

Internet Links

Cordage Discovery Box - from IDAHO MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, Idaho State University

Rope-making fibres - manila hemp and sisal - from Kew Botanical gardens: manila hemp and sisal

Making Cordage By Hand - from Primitive Ways, site offering resources for studing indgenous cultures

Making string: an ethnobotanical learning journey on the south coast of NSW - from Australian National University and Curriculum Support, NSWDET, on the South coast of NSW: aboriginals try to recreate forgotten techniques (word doc)

Natural Cordage - from Woodcraft Wanderings

Practical Instructions

A Piece of Fibre Could Save Your Life Nature's General Store: The Yuccas and Agaves - from Primitive Ways

Basic Instructions for Making a Period Cord with a Lucet using a turning method - from Company of the Silver Spindle

The Bangladesh Twine Spinner - from The Science Toymaker

Making a bowstring - from The Essentials of Archery


A cordage backed bow - from Primitive Ways

The Physics of Mediaeval Archery - from the Stortford Archers

FAQ - Tent Pegs and Guy Ropes - The Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs NSW Incorporated

Knot tying

Animated Knots by Grog: TIE KNOTS THE FUN AND EASY WAY

Diagrams - from Makezine


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Last Update: Monday, 30-Apr-2012 14:08:48 AEST
URL: http://science.uniserve.edu.au/school/curric/stage4_5/fibres/cordage.html