Prehistoric String Ideas

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Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by grendel on Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:40 pm

Lately I've been needing to use cord a lot. Not a lot of choices around. I mostly use the imitation sinew from ebay, not colourful but a least authentic. Another suggestion on the forum is nettle cord, a great idea but a lengthy process if you want a decent quantity.

So I was wondering if anyone has any idea what prehistoric peoples used, I imagine by the Bronze Age they had some pretty advanced cord. Also does anyone know of any corkds of ways to make them and finally anyone know a shop selling some?

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I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. cats look down on us but pigs treat us as equals.

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:16 pm

The inner bark of the Lime tree makes very good cord (lime bast) and the leaves from Cordyline plants split down nicely into useful and strong strands, there is a lot of these in folk's gardens and I often see the leaves blowing down the street! http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/Profile.aspx?pid=543

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by grendel on Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:04 pm

The Cordyline look like Yuccas, Yuccas make great string apparently.

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Stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:28 am

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If you want some some "off the shelf" type of natural cordage, it may be a good idea to get some Jute. It's rather cheap and easly found, this lot was from a well known hobby and craft store (hint hint!) These two cost about a fiver for both. I'm sure it could be found cheaper from elsewhere.

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:31 am

[img][/img]
I also picked up some Raffia as it looked useful! This was £2.50.

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:12 am

The same "hobby and craft store" does fine hemp codage (under £2 for 9m) which is really good, have used it in revamping an old knife, it needed some extra binding and this was the perfect fix! will post some pics once I get to grips with the new camera, software it say nooo!
Get some yucca string on the go as it is really good cordage and evergreen in this land of crummy weather, and twist the same way as for nettle string. I have abused this plant after wiping snow off it the last couple of months and it does make some really good and tough string/binding for hafting.
The raffia remains redundant as yet. although it could still come in useful...

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by grendel on Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:35 pm

Sailing shops do some nice lines in cord. I got some jute and this huge 2" thick hemp cord.

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:56 pm

Holy moly, 2" thick cordage, are you planning on building your own henge? That's some heavy gauge stuff Very Happy

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun May 26, 2013 1:27 pm

Here is a good place for some natural string e.t.c: http://www.brandonthatchers.co.uk/catalog/index.php?cPath=32&page=4&osCsid=rfh3tgnu3h0r3lqlknrh5djr45

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by skalla on Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:33 am

i've done it with the inner bark from willow before, stripped of the outer bark and boiled with ashes for about an hour. It was reasonably durable and easy enough to make, though for stronger uses, perhaps other materials would be better though maybe more fibers and a tighter twist would have solved that.
Though i have yet to try it, some woodsfolk i know say thast bramble is great, especially as it already has the length. Obvs strip off the thorns with a hide glove, then rub between palms or give it a few crushing blows with a bludger to split it up a little and you should get it splitting into four or five strands that you can use as is for stitching, or twist/ply into typical cordage..... or so i am told Smile

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by grendel on Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:39 pm

with me using string for wrapping prehistoric knives the strength is not important, it's the bling.

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Stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:29 pm

Another idea for a binding material is willow bark, at the moment the sap is high so you can just peel off long strips from a cut pole, use wet or dry it out for later.

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:37 pm

Sorry skalla, just remembered you mentioned willow bark!
I was thinking using the peeled bark as it is rather than twisted though.

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by skalla on Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:55 pm

Strips of the peeled bark would be great - do you scrape the outer layer of rough bark off when you do it?

 ETA:  i may be feeling a mid afternoon walk for willow bark coming one..

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by skalla on Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:07 pm

I've just had my mind blown a little when i read this elsewhere as it's brilliant, but apparently Cherry outer bark can be peeled off in long continuous strips.. at a very slight diagonal, as if in a shallow spiral up a branch.  I've not tried it yet (only just found out) but i saw pics of a four year old doing it and she had a strip about six feet long so i'm convinced.. maked great binding and cordage by all accounts and boiling the stuff can also increase the intensity of the colour according to some.

There is a load of Wild Cherry on a heath a short walk from my home and i will be robbing a few good branches for sticks and spoons come autumn, hopefully the bark is still plump enough to do it - i may even have to get some a bit earlier just in case.

Thought it was well worth sharing, i'm still wowed by this - Cherry has some of the most beautiful bark of all our trees imo, i really look forwards to trying this.

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:49 pm

Oooh Cherry? Good work, The Willow bark strips I have are tied up in a bundle and I have yet to use it for anything, so the outer bark is still on. 
Feels quite tough though.

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:44 pm

The inner bark of Lime tree works well too, the problem with Lime bast is when you have stripped it off the branch you then have to soak it for about two weeks or longer for it to break down into fibres.
Enter cunning trick I've been using recently: At this time of year (winter) collect the twigs and branches that have fallen off and have been sitting on the ground for a few weeks and the bark comes off with minimal effort, pre-retted. It also helps if the branches have been driven over a few times!
Finding Lime trees is easy as they have a mass of shoots at the base of the trunk, who needs leaves for ID?

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by grendel on Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:48 am

Thanks, that nice info, I didn't know you could do it from lime trees. I was reading this page a week ago, is the manufacture process similar?

http://willowhavenoutdoor.com/featured-wilderness-survival-blog-entries/cedar-quick-and-easy-survival-cordage-and-a-tree-bark-education/

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Stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:36 am

Ooh, Ceder, That is a new one on me too! Lime is a good one, I've been put off by the soaking bit. The pieces I've been gathering just pull apart easly. This is how its usually done with Lime:

http://www.bushcraft.ridgeonnet.com/lime%20bark%20tutorial.htm

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:52 pm

" />
Ok, so not exactly string, but a really good type of rawhide for binding all your bits of flint and stick together, may I present: Ho-Jay jumbo pork twist!
Its nice and long but thin (less shrinkage when drying) rawhide with some colour to it rather than the usual semi-clear or bleached white stuff you normally get with regular dog chews. Give it a soak for an hour or two and get binding!
When I bought this from a local Mc Colls corner shop I had to talk dog stuff with the bloke behind the counter, I didn't have the heart to say I don't have a dog.

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by grendel on Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:17 pm

I'll have to try and find some.

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by the barnacle on Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:14 pm

somtimes its just best not to tell them why you want it - i once wish i had told a shop owner i was a plumber and not tried to explain what i wanted copper pipe ends for.  Very Happy

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:16 pm

Aha, The path of least resistance is the one to follow! If the truth be known, I'm a cat person, dogs stink! I had to say it was my mum's dog I was buying the dog chew for in my sea of lies and deceit.
I have had similar problems with plumbing parts, they can see that you want something specific and try to help... then you tell them that you're a flintknapper and thier heads burst trying to comprehend why you now want copper pipe bits. Little do they know, for it is ancient witchcraft enhanced with plumbing parts.

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:52 pm

" />
I went to a show during the summer and there was a bushcrafty type stall that had this display of natural string, so the camera came out and I duely forgot about it, untill now.
There is more cordage material than I thought it seems, my fave the one marked honey fungus!

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Re: Prehistoric String Ideas

Post by the barnacle on Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:36 pm

some strong looking cord, a friend recently found some bronze age pot with cord patern marks, it looks like it must of been platted.

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