How do you process willow for weaving?

How do you prepare fresh willow for weaving?

(Before weaving, soak the dry willow rods until you can bend them around your wrist, without cracking them. Soaking them for 24 hours in a bathtub is usually long enough. They are ready for weaving when they can pass the bend test without cracking.)

Can you use fresh cut willow for weaving?

If you make something with freshly cut willow be aware that the weaving will loosen as it dries and shrinks, potentially, leaving gaps in the weaving. Ideally, you should wait, say, 6 weeks from cutting before using it to allow dry a little, whilst still being flexible.

How do you dry willow branches for weaving?

The willow should be wrapped in a moistened cotton sheet and then loosely covered with plastic or a tarp. You will need to mellow your willow, wrapped in this moistened sheet, for two days. Check on it every day, moving the bundles around and airing them out so that mold doesn’t form on the bark.

How do you harvest willow bark for weaving?

where there are lumps and bumps in the bark such as where small branches were, I cut around these. I then work my way along the whole length of the stem, prising the bark off slowly, until I have worked around the whole circumference and the whole length. The bark should then slip off like a sleeve!

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Can you use any willow for weaving?

The rule of thumb is that any long thin plant material you can wrap around your wrist once fully without snapping can be woven as a basket. … The willow used mostly in commercial basket weaving in the UK is Black Maul a cultivar of Salix Triandra but most willow is ‘weavable’.

What is the best willow for weaving?

Black Maul is a very forgiving supple willow. You can do virtually anything with it! Dry it with the bark on and use as brown willow, boil it, steam it or strip it (to use as white willow). This willow is held in high regard by weavers and is one of the best types of willow to use in beginners basketry.

How do you harvest willow cuttings?

Cuttings should be straight with the side branches, apical bud, and top several inches removed. Don’t forget to bundle and soak. Once cuttings are harvested and pruned, bundle them into groups of 10 to 20 with twine. Ideally, cuttings should be soaked in water seven to fourteen days prior to installation.

How long does it take Willow to dry out?

If you have any left over after your project, you could continue to use it by keeping it covered for one or two days. After that it must be dried out thoroughly (dried quickly in sun and wind) for storage.

Soaking times for buff willow.

Length Soaking Time
5ft 1½-2 hrs
6ft 2 hrs
7ft 2-2½ hrs
8ft 3 hrs

How do you bend willow branches?

A sharp bend:

Hold the stem where you want it to bend between your fingers to heat it slightly. If you are bending a branch you might have to heat it with warm water or a flame. Slowly start to bend the stem. When the tip and the stem meet secure it with glue.

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When should I harvest willow?

Harvest after the leaves have fallen and before they start to grow again -mid-November to late February. Keep harvested willow in cool dry conditions, sort into lengths. Use within 6 weeks while still pliable or allow to dry out completely and soak to use at any time of year.