Wysteria Cordage


Wysteria is an introduced plant(from Europe I believe) that grows up anything it can with long elegant vines. I see it in yards, growing over terraces all over. They have large clusters of fragrant purple flowers. Thought I’d share a discovery about it.
Last summer I was picking apart some sticks from a pruned off dead wysteria limb. I have a habit of breaking apart leaves and sticks into continually smaller bits while I sit outside. When I broke this one apart I realised that it’s outer bark fibers were strong and all the soft core material and woody peices were breaking off of it while it stayed in tact. I kept going, opening it up and taking the wood off and it made perfect cordage material. I’ve since reverse wrapped or braided it into about 10 feet of medium strength cordage. It hold well and stays tight. I did test it’s strength once by holding two ends and giving a quick tug and it broke, so maybe not best for things that put a lot of strain on it. I’ve found all sort of other ways to use it. Clothing, accessories, tying things together in general, hanging plants for fragrance or to dry.
The ones that seem to work best have a warm lightish brown color to light tan and have died within a month or two(longer is fine). When they have a darkish coating or turn more faded greyish brown seems to mean they’ve broken down and become weak, but still make useable cordage. They have long vines so it works out to a nice bunch of material, with just a couple.

Ask your neighbors if you can prune/deadwood their wysteria plant and make some cordage!

*Careful most of the plant has toxins that can cause death(presumably if ingested. I don’t think anything or enough of anything absorbs into the skin during cordage making. It’s mainly the seeds).

The flowers are edible. I’ve made a nice tea from it.


It looks like this might fit better in the tools and toolmaking section. How do I move a post?