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New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax (Read 2640 times)
walter
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #30 - Nov 27th, 2020 at 11:50am
 
Goodbye yucca, hello nz flax Smiley
I will be planting this next spring
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IronGoober
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #31 - Nov 27th, 2020 at 3:45pm
 
walter wrote on Nov 27th, 2020 at 11:50am:
Goodbye yucca, hello nz flax Smiley
I will be planting this next spring


My goal is to make converts! I think you'll like it. It does require a warmer climate to grow, though. There are also a ton of varieties. From what I've seen, just about any variety will yield useful fibers, but the green kind that I made the sling from (which I don't own), seems to be the best that I've used.

The leaves from older plants can get up to 2m tall. There is a neighbor that I asked if I could take some leaves, which is where I got this one from, and their plant has some 6ft leaves.  They mentioned that they want to get rid of it, so if I can, I want to try to transplant it into a large pot at my house. I have yet to figure out how to do it properly. The plant they have would fill 3 or 4 large planters, most likely.

There are a variety of fiber sizes that you get out of it, If I were more patient, I would separate the larger from the smaller and make small fiber (soft) and large fiber slings (more durable).  You asked a while back if the fibers are brittle. Not so far, even after 6 months of drying, they are nice an pliable.
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John R.
 
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walter
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #32 - Nov 27th, 2020 at 6:00pm
 
def going to try it
THANKS
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #33 - Apr 19th, 2021 at 2:36am
 
To update anyone interested.

The dead and dried leaves off of this plant actually work wonderfully well to extract fiber.  You just need to put the dried leaves into water for a week or two.  It kind of serves as a retting process for normal flax. I'm not sure if the yield is as good as with the green leaves, but it seems that you do get more consistent size of fiber (the retting seems to strip out the small fibers when scraping).  I've made several balearic slings ~50g now from dry leaves.
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #34 - May 3rd, 2021 at 11:28pm
 
IronGoober wrote on Nov 26th, 2020 at 10:29pm:
So here's another New Zealand Flax sling. I made this in about 1  to 1.5 hours, start to finish from the raw material (Since it is a holiday here, it was a bit off and on).

It is 2 ply, about 23" from end of the retention loop to the center of the pouch. I would have done a splice for the retention loop, but I wanted to see how fast a sling could be made.

I stripped it using a piece of aluminum with a 90° edge, slightly dulled. It works much better than the metal spatula I used before. I tried to keep all the fibers in the main piece, but lost some, hence the small left over pile.  There is an overhand knot on the release cord near the pouch to keep  the "rockman" style pouch intact. Without the knot the 2 ply twine just let the leaves slip by each other and they are just stay stacked on top of one another without really forming a pouch. Because of this knot, I had to use the left over pile of fibers to make the release cord long enough for a loop.  This whole sling was made from a leaf that was about 5.5 feet long.

I love this plant.


This sling has held up ok. The pouch split a bit, but it still functions after 6 months or so. I just threw a few times with it, seems to be about the same as when it was made. I had to make many creases in the leaf (pouch)  to make it pliable enough as it dried, but it seems to be holding up. It never balanced projectiles well because I didn't perfectly balance the length of each side of the pouch, and that continues to be its only issue.
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John R.
 
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #35 - May 4th, 2021 at 9:04pm
 
Where can you find the seeds or already grown plants ?
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #36 - May 5th, 2021 at 1:24am
 
I got mine from a nursery. In Northern CA, they are at Lowes, or Home Depot, too.
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #37 - May 5th, 2021 at 8:18am
 
Okay thanks will Definitely look  hopefully they have it on the east coast
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