How To Make Yucca Cordage

Yucca Glauca PlantCording is the process of preparing the fibers of various plants for weaving, basketry and other uses. It precedes and is believed to be the forerunner of basket making, although cording differs slightly from both basket making and weaving.

To make cordage from yucca fibers:

Separate the fibers and lay them out uniformly. The yucca leaf is larger at the bottom than at the top, so the fibers are thicker at the base.

Roll a long length of fiber down your leg with your open palm until it is round and reasonably uniform in size.

Bend the resulting string about 2/3 in half – or leave one end about 1/3 longer than the other.

The small loop in the bend is your starting point and should be held between the left thumb and forefinger (if you are right handed. I’m a southpaw).

You now have 2 loose ends hanging from the loop. Hold the twist secure, and twirl the top piece clockwise between the right thumb and forefingers.

Then fold the strand you have just twisted toward you, or counter-clockwise, and repeat the procedure with the opposite strand, moving the fingers on the left hand toward each new twist to hold it secure.

When you reach about 3 inches from the end of your shortest strand, lay a new piece alongside the short end, overlapping it to give a strong splice, and roll the 2 together.

Continue the twisting and folding until the desired length is reached.

Your cordage will not unravel because of the clock-wise, couter-clockwise twist which actually tightens against itself.

The strength of the cord will depend on the thickness of the strand and the quality of your materials; 2 or 3 strands of cordage may be twisted together in the same manner for more strength.

Be sure that your splices are not at the same point, or opposite in your cordage, as this will weaken the strand. Making uniform strands will insure against weak spots.

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