Want to find a purposeful way to make use of all that new bramble growth on your site, at the bottom of the garden, along the edge of your overgrown favourite footpath walk, down the side of the garage, along the edges of the park & in the brush of the woodland? Well, this wonderful timeless technique allows you to do just that, bramble cordage. It's naturally biodegradable, made thin it can be used for jewellery or fine detail tying, or make medium thick for twine in the garden or make extra thick for rope! You could: tie up dens with it; tie up plants, veg & flowers; use it to make basketry; crotchet/finger knit a market shopping bag... -the uses for such a wonderful item are many!
Little peoples fingers may need some help & guidance, but we've found them to be very good at peeling back & separating the fibres & they seem to like twisting things to. Many with the need for busy fingers can create cordage & once they master the technique then they can do it whenever & wherever! Perfect.Items required: Length of fresh young growth bramble - once the stem becomes darker or old & pale then it becomes too brittle to work with as cordage.Secateurs or strong scissors - this is to cut your bramble lengths. Extra thick gardening gloves usually those with a leather hand - you need these to cut the brambles back & to strip the bramble of leaves & spiky spines. A flat edged stone or the back of a butter knife (not sharp for family use) - this is to gently remove the top outer layer of the bramble once the leaves & spines are removedA beater - You can use a wooden mallet, a piece of branch you find on the woodland floorWater - (& possibly a container to pour it into) you don't need much water but the fibres do dry out quite quickly. If you forget it, worst case you need you can lick your fingers to run that along the fibres as you work. and the time to create with family members or alone.
Whilst using this nature activity to inspire learning, know you are helping you and your family's wellbeing like this:
1) Get Active - Go walking to find areas where you can identify & collect brambles to make cordage with. If you are not aware that you are near any, try along the edges of garages, riverbanks, park edges, and out of the way corners.
2) Keep Learning - Brambles are amazing for so very many different reasons but today we look at how to make something of practical use, great ingenuity & creativity we can thank our ancestors for a technique that is also transferable.
3) Be Mindful - Brambles are in fact a wonderful resource in nature and later in the year they provide us and other wildlife with those lovely juicy berries so be careful not to pick all new growth in one area. They also provide a function within their settings for other plants, birds and wildlife
4) Practice Kindness -By making this you can help people see that the "weeds" that we often cut down due to the scratch, can have very many positive outcomes for us too, it is strong, durable, and biodegradable, practice kindness to the planet by sharing this knowledge.
5) Think Community - Share your tips, where to look for brambles in your area, what you intend to use them for and the outcomes of your efforts and patience in the comments below.