Cord and rope can be made from fibers of bark and some trees, weeds and even some wildflowers. Most likely you can gather these materials in your own backyard. Weeds you think are a bother can actually be a great supplier of rope. Some species that are good to use are Milkweed or Stinging nettle. This will take some research and practice. You want to gather your materials usually around the end of the summer season. The reason for this is to ensure the regrowth of the plant so you can have a continual amount of the fiber needed to create your cord. So you will need to gather the plants when they are seeding. Start by cutting the stems close to the ground. Drop the seeds into the leftover stem so they will regrow next season. Continue this until you have a bundle which you will then need to tie and hang up to dry in a cool dry place until they are crisp.
The next step is to gather the fibers from the stems collected. Using on stock at a time, set it on a sturdy hard surface. A nice big rock with a somewhat flat top will work great. Now get another heavy smooth rock and softly pound up and down the entire stock. Continue this paying special attention to the harder thicker parts of the stem until you see the stalk crack. Once you are at this stage use your thumbnail to split the outer layer of the stalk open. Gently peel the woody layer back.Exposing the treasures within. Pick out as many of those woody bits from the fibers as possible, if you can not get every last one that’s okay.
Now you need to buff the fibers. Holding the fibers rub both your hands together. The faster the better. This will take some persistence. As you continue this the fibers will start to become fluffy and separate. Once they reach the pale and fluffy stage we can continue to the next step. Now if your in a pinch or a time crunch these fibers can be used right away. Although they will not be the most durable or dependable. For strong rope, you should continue the process. You should reverse wrap them. Holding the bundle of fibers with both hands a few inches apart twist fibers in opposite directions. Continue until a kink forms in the center. Grab the kink firmly with your teeth still holding the ends with your hands.Using two fingers on each hand and twist fibers in the same direction to tighten the kink. When you reach this point continue holding the fibers in the same position. Wrap the two strands around each other in opposite directions. This will keep the rope from unraveling. It should be nice and tight. Now it’s ready. Rope making will take some trial and error but don’t give up especially if you have no other option for this material. Keep up the good work.