Well-named Tough-leaf Iris Yields Strong Cordage

Photos By Weaver Mama

Sara "Weaver Mama" extracts strong fibers from the leaves of local Iris tenax that she collects around her home near Coos Bay, Oregon. The species' scientific and common names reflect this resource. For centuries, local peoples used the iris fibers for cordage for their and nets, bags, and cloth.

Tough-leaf iris fibers used for cordage

(L) Sara removes most of the leaf's outer layer with a deer bone scraper. (R) The strong cordage from wild iris can be used for nets and such. Click on the "Weaver Mama" tagline above to reach Sara's Myspace page, with more of her basketry and other crafts.