How to Make Hemp Twine

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Use hemp to make twine.
Use hemp to make twine. (Image: hemp image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com)

Hemp fiber is a long, strong and absorbent material that is ideal for twining. Its anti-mildew and antimicrobial properties are also superb qualities for twine. This quality twining fiber is obtained when the plant begins to flower. A retting process removes the longest strands form the woody center of the stalk and frees them for twining. Hemp, a cannabis sativa L. variety, has long been an important twine- and rope-making plant.

Ret the hemp plant matter to loosen the outer bast fibers from the inner core. Dew retting is accomplished by leaving the hemp in the field to allow natural bacteria and humidity to work on the stalks. This can also be done by water or chemical retting.

Pull and separate some of the longer outer fibers from the hemp stalk and rub them between your palms to remove any refuse.

Take a few strands and hold them between your left hand thumb and fingers.

Take one strand and twirl it clockwise, away from your body.

Bring this strand toward your body, still taut, and put it over and then under the other fiber.

Hold this cord tight at the spot where the two strands cross and repeat the twirling action with the other hemp strand.

Continue in this manner until the entire length of the fibers is twisted into cordage.

Tips & Warnings

  • These instructions are for right-handed people; reverse them if you are left handed.

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