Wisteria And Making Rope

Wisteria is an amazing and deadly plant that has so many uses. First, watch this short video to get he main bits, then we’ll talk about making rope.

Making Rope with Wisteria

I did a short internet search when I was making this video and could find almost no information about how to make rope from this plant. So, this week I’ll show you how I did it via this longer form video that isn’t actually visible on youtube.

Basically here are all the steps explained in detail.

Cut a Long Wisteria Vine

Start by giving yourself a good length of vine to work with. I found that the thinner the vine, the better. Vines that are starting to climb up a tree are perfect for this. Occasionally you’ll also find really long ones that are shooting out across the ground. The longer the better.

Pound the Wistera Fibers with a Rock

The next step is to break up the fibers a bit. The reason for doing this is that it’s really hard to break the outer material from the inner core if you don’t start by breaking it up a bit. That’s where the rock comes in.

You’ll want to find a flat surface somewhere and start lightly pounding the vine. Don’t completely smash it. All you’re doing it doing a light pound so that it’s not hard and crunchy. This didn’t make much sense to me either when I first read about it, but once I went out and tried it myself it made perfect sense. So, start this process by just trying it yourself!

Separate the Outer Wisteria Fibers

Next, separate the outer fibers from the inner core. This is accomplished by cutting the outside sheath, much like you’d cut the outer protective covering of electrical wire.

Once you’ve made the first cut, peel a bit of it all the way down. The farther you go, the better. I found that by taking the initial thin strip, I could make the bigger strip later. That second strip that I separated from the inner core is what I actually used for my rope making.

Reverse Wrap the Wisteria Fibres

The next step is a reverse wrap to make these fibers into your cordage. Because I don’t currently have a video on this process yet, I do have a video I found that shows the process really well.


About The Author
Rob Nelson

Rob Nelson

Rob has worked as a biologist and wildlife educator since 2001 with the goal of reconnecting people with nature. While in grad school in Hawaii he studied ecology and as a side job he spent years working part time leading nature tours – teaching about the wildlife, the land, and the natural history that made the islands so unique. These were the first sparks that would lead to what is now StoneAgeMan.