Cords from Colutea istria and species of Alcea

פורסם: September 15th, 2007 | עודכן: 16/01/15

[Colutea istria]

This is a relatively rare shrub that grows in the shrub-steppe areas in Israel, Sinai and Jordan (Fig. 1.6.1). I learnt about strings from this plant in a very unusual way. On a tour in the Sinai desert area, I saw a bundle of threads left on a shrub, that reminded me of raffia, ready for plaiting. A Bedouin who collected epidermal strips from young shrubs had left his “treasure” on a shrub. When I enquired about the threads, the Sinai Bedouin showed me how to peel off these epidermal strips that fall off young [Colutea] plants. Plying of these strong strips is done in the same manner (Figs. 1.6.2-1.6.4).

Fig. 1.6.1: Colutea istria.

Fig. 1.6.2: Narrow epidermis strips of young Colutea stems.

Fig. 1.6.3: Colutea fibers collected and abandoned on a shrub by a Bedouin.

A string prepared from epidermal fibers on young stems

Fig. 1.6.4: String piled from Colutea fibers.

Bark of other plants

Fig. 1.6.5: The bark of many species of Alcea is rich in fibers.

The bark of many trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants in Israel and all over the world, contain fibers suitable for preparing strings and ropes. In case of need one may try it. [Alcea] (Fig. 1.6.5) and other tall plants from the same family ([Malvaceae]) and similar to it, may serve as a source for fibers. The freshly peeled fibers should be dried first as the Malvaceae plants have high quantities of mucilage. The dry/moist fibers are suitable for plying string.