A month or two ago I found some pruned linden tree branches on the street and brought them over for extracting the fibers from their inner bark (bast).
After peeling the outer bark, some of the bast fibers came out readily. But some of them were stuck on the bark. So I rolled them and put them in a bucket full of water, placed a stone on top of them to make sure they were submerged,closed the bucket’s lid and left them to soak for a month.
It’s a stinky process and normally it’s done in a natural pond or river. But having neither of them nearby, I used the bucket technique. I tried to change the water every week, but still it stank badly.
After a couple of days of soaking, the water became very slimy and I read that it’s good for treating wounds and can be used as a skin moisturizer.
Anyway , after a month of soaking, the fibers loosened and came out easily from the bark.
Then I rinsed them and hanged them to dry. Interestingly, they smelled like leather!
The fibers can be used to make rope, as a wrapping thread for coiled baskets and so on!
I started making a looped water bottle holder with these fibers. They’re easy to work with and pretty strong!