2020 November - Workshop Weekend, Wilhelminaoord

Workshop Braiding Techniques with Plant Fibres

Workshop Braiding Techniques with Plant Fibres. Photo by Dorothee Olthof

By Dorothee Olthof

Plant fibres are the oldest textile material of humankind. A recent discovery of a 40,000-year-old tree bark string made by a Neanderthal man confirms that again. Cordage, nets, baskets, fish traps, hats, coats, knife sheaths, shoes and possibly whole garments of lime bast, willow bast, sedges, rushes, nettle, flax, elm bast and grasses in all kinds of twining, looping, knotting and braiding techniques were an indispensable and very important part of the material culture of Stone and Bronze Age people. "The missing majority," as archaeologist Linda Hurcombe calls it. Because archaeologists find very little of it, due to the transient nature of the materials. During this workshop we are introduced to prehistoric fiber finds and braiding techniques. We are making a "showpiece" with examples of different techniques and materials, all based on archaeological finds from Europe. Of course you take your creation home afterwards.

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Time: 3 hours
Participants: maximum 8 people per group
Minimum age: 10 years old
Costs: € 20 per person

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About Dorothee Olthof: Your workshop leader is Dorothee Olthof from PRAE, archaeology and education. She has a lot of experience in giving textile and other workshops to young and old, from Leiden to South Korea.