Craft

Lime Bast Rope / Silje Ensby


Making a rope from lime bast, the way it’s been done for over a thousand years in Norway.

Ropemaker Ingunn Undrum and boatbuilding apprentice Dennis Bayer head out to harvest the bark of lime trees (linden tree), in the spring when the sap is rising.

The paper thin layers of bast are glued together, and need to soak for a long time in the sea to separate. The water in the Hardanger fjord is cold even during summer, so the bark is soaking until fall, for 3-4 months.

Ropemaker Sarah Sjøgreen lays the bast rope, and makes a traditional carrying rope with three strands, for transporting the cut grass during hay making season. The bast is naturally water proof, and rots very slowly compared to other rope materials. This explains why it has been found intact in viking excavations dating back to the 800s.

The video was recorded by Silje Ensby at Hardanger Maritime Centre, a centre for historic ship preservation, located in Hardanger, Norway — via Vimeo

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