How do you process willow for weaving?

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 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.

How do you cut a willow?

Take a cutting that is about 10-inches long and the diameter of a pencil. Next place the cutting in water. In time roots will begin to form and you can plant your new tree outdoors. In areas where the soil stays moist such as beside a pond or river bank, you can just stick the cutting in the ground.

How do you store willow rods?

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).

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How long does it take willow to dry out?

If you have any left over after your project, you could continue to use it by keeping it covered for one or two days. After that it must be dried out thoroughly (dried quickly in sun and wind) for storage.

Soaking times for buff willow.

Length Soaking Time
5ft 1½-2 hrs
6ft 2 hrs
7ft 2-2½ hrs
8ft 3 hrs

How do you root willow in water?

To use willow water for propagating cuttings, pour some into a small jar, and place the cuttings in there like flowers in a vase, and leave them there to soak overnight for several hours so that they take up the plant rooting hormone.

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 prepare weaving vines?

The good news for those who are able to wait, you can harvest the vines now, roll them into loose coils, and store them until you are ready to use. Simply soak them in water to make them more pliable, or even better, boil them for about half an hour before weaving.