Saturday, November 24, 2012

Straw Plaiting

On that wonderful show, Victorian Farm, historian Ruth Goodman learns the old art of straw plaiting. Women would weave the straw left over from their wheat harvest into long plaits and then sew them into hats. Naturally when I saw this, I wanted to try it! However, there is one little problem. The wheat that is grown around here has been bred to grow short, meaning that there is short straw, not great for plaiting. While we do have a project in mind for next Summer to grow some heritage wheat, I couldn't wait that long to try plaiting. So I started thinking of what I could use to substitute...

 Wild grasses! Perfect. So I harvested some yesterday, soaked them in the tub for a couple of hours and got to work. I used this website to show me how to make a 7 strand flat plait for hat making.
 My plait is a little messy, but I am learning. I wonder how this grass compares to straw... I plaited over 40 inches last night and then started to sew them together to form the crown of my hat.
Just 14 more yards to go! My fingers are a bit sore, so I think I'll take a little break, but not too long. This is an addicting craft! When it is dry, then I can cut off the ends that pop out (that's where you add a new straw). I hope I get a hat out of this attempt!


  1. Looking good, Kris! Is there any end to the amazing things you will try?

  2. I hear you, Heather. I feel Kris is plenty crafty enough for her, me, you, and countless others! I'll stick to stamping!


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