Today I am wrapping up the hemp processing videos series with the final steps in making your hemp fiber into usable material.
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Now that your hemp fiber is all dry it’s time to start refining the fiber.
Step One Scutching:
I have found a few ways to scutch hemp:
1. Hand scutching: By rubbing the hemp fibers between your hands you can remove the boon and stock bits from the fibers, but this method is very time-consuming.
2. Rounded edge method: By moving the fibers over a rounded edge in one direction you can remove more of the boon and stock bits faster than the first method.
3. Scutching board: Using an old fashion scutching board or a cutting board works the best!! In my demonstration, I show how using this method works, but all I had to use at the time was a metal spatula and that did not work out too well. Make sure to use wood because metal will just cut through your fiber leaving you with very little to work with. The wooden scutching sward or ruler will crush and remove the outer fiber without cutting the hemp fibers we are after.
Step Two Combing:
If you do not have a fiber comb or hackle don’t worry because they are very easy to make!! You will need a piece of hardwood, a hand full of common 16 penny nails, a hand full of 3 to 4-inch finishing nail, a drill, and some two-part epoxy. Take your drill and drill some holes into the hardwood for your nail to easily slide into. You can print off a hole patterns from online or just use a ruler and make sure your holes are lined up. The primary comb nails are 1/2-1/4 inch apart and the secondary comb nails are 1/4-1/8 inch apart. Insert your nails into the holes and use your two-part epoxy to secure the nails into place.
Now that your hackle is set up it’s time to start working your fibers through the primary comb. Using a whipping motion work the fibers through the primary comb until no more fiber is getting caught up in the comb. After passing through primary it’s time to move on to the finer nails in the secondary comb. Using the same whipping motion work the fiber through the comb until the fibers stop collecting in the comb.
At this point, your fibers are ready to make rope, twine, cordage or fishing nets. If you would like to refine the fibers a bit more then there is just one more step to go…
Passing the hemp fibers through a wool comb or carder will further separate your hemp fiber and make them a lot softer. After carding your hemp fiber it should be nice and soft and ready to be spun. Don’t forget that your toe fiber (The bits of fiber that collected on the combs while combing the fiber through) is worth saving!! You can make rope, twine, cordage, fishing nets and felting fibers from those piles.
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