Thursday, May 12, 2016

First Foray into Straw Plaiting

Working on some more large projects, which will hopefully be post-worthy in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, here's my first attempt at straw plaiting.
Three strand plaited/braided straw.

It's just a basic 3-strand, using 1/2 split straw (the red things are straw splitters: 2, 3, 4, and 6-way). I've already learned a lot about working the straw wet and folding--rather than bending--it.  The next objective is to split it finer while keeping the pieces even; after that, I hope to make the edges smoother and the ends neater when I work in a new length of straw.  After that, it's fancier braids, and eventually producing something like this:
1858 plaited straw from Hawaii, in the Smithsonian accession #66A00050.
Straw plait for bonnets, made in Hawaii, 1858.
Currently in the Smithsonian.
It's 1cm wide, and appears to be a 6-strand plait.

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