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The craftsman
(October 1911)

Parker, Elizabeth
Corn husk weaving,   pp. 99-101


Page 99


CORN HUSK WEAVING
CORN HUSK WEAVING: BY
ELIZABETH PARKER
INCE the increase of interest in coun-
      try life and the things of the farm of
      late a great deal of intelligent com-
      ment is being made about a side of
life that was getting sadly into a rut. All
manner of interesting possibilities have
been discovered in farm life, not the least
interesting of which is the utilization of
corn husks in making attractive and useful
objects, and corn husk weaving has become
a fad among the young folks in rural dis-
tricts.
  The husks used for this purpose are
dried and plaited and then sewn into shape
with strong linen thread.
  An infinite variety of objects may be
woven and the work is fascinating, because
of the opportunity it furnishes for adding
to beauty and comfort in life.
  The husks of any kind of corn may be
used, but they must be large and long or
the work of joining the many ends not only
becomes tedious, but the result is an ugly,
bulging braid or plait.
A FRUIT BASKET WOVEN OF CORN HUSKS: FIG. 3.
   The husks are stripped apart and laid
smoothly in the sun to dry, for if used
green the result is unsatisfactory. The very
bulky, wood-like ends of the husks are cut
away a little with shears and when they are
being plaited these ends are joined by over-
lapping, and care is taken to tuck in any ob-
truding bits as one proceeds in order to
keep the plait as smooth as possible, al-
though a certain attractive unevenness will
exist in spite of all one's care, and this is
really desirable. It is impossible to make a
perfectly smooth, even plait, although some
very fine braiding can be done with the
soft pliable inner husks.
          A CORN HUSK SCHOOL BASKET: FIG. 2.
   One may plait as many strands as one
desires, but the five and three strand braids
have been proven the most practical, as the
frequent joining of the other husks makes
a braid of more strands very ugly and un-
wieldy.
   For braiding one selects husks of a uni-
form width, the very wide ones may be
stripped apart and made the correct width.
Then one proceeds as one would in plaiting
anything else. The farmers' wives do it
very easily as nearly all of them are accus-
tomed to braid rags for rugs, and the proc-
ess is the same.
  When the braid is woven into the form
desired, the edges are slightly overlapped
and sewed through securely with linen thread
waxed. These corn 'husk objects are firm
and durable, and may be given hard daily
usage, and as the work may be done with
great rapidity the country housewife finds
herself in possession of innumerable useful
things at practically no expense. All kinds
A COVERED BASKET OF CORN HUSKS: FIG. 1.
99


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