Frequent question: How do you dry willow for weaving?

How long does it take for willow to dry?

Bundles are tied (loosely) and brought into an airy shed to dry out. This process can take up to four months depending on the climate. They need to dry out completely before using them to weave.

How do you dry willow branches for weaving?

The willow should be wrapped in a moistened cotton sheet and then loosely covered with plastic or a tarp. You will need to mellow your willow, wrapped in this moistened sheet, for two days. Check on it every day, moving the bundles around and airing them out so that mold doesn’t form on the bark.

Can you use fresh cut willow for weaving?

If you make something with freshly cut willow be aware that the weaving will loosen as it dries and shrinks, potentially, leaving gaps in the weaving. Ideally, you should wait, say, 6 weeks from cutting before using it to allow dry a little, whilst still being flexible.

How do you prepare fresh willow for weaving?

(Before weaving, soak the dry willow rods until you can bend them around your wrist, without cracking them. Soaking them for 24 hours in a bathtub is usually long enough. They are ready for weaving when they can pass the bend test without cracking.)

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Where do you soak willow?

You can soak willow in a soaking bag, in the bath (be aware that the tannins in the willow bark may stain your bath) or in an outdoor pond or pool. Water butts are also handy (some people recommend using large drain pipes capped at one end).

How do you dry fresh willow?

Place the bundle(s) on a shelf, rack or up on a pallet in a dry location. Ideally, you want air to be able to circulate around the willow rods. Do not place in direct sunlight. Yellower varieties, such as Flanders Red and Dicky Meadows tend to dry differently to Black Maul (where the skin is one colour).