As long as you want, if you make it yourself. 🙂
Earlier this year, after the flowers had finished, I gathered a whole load of daffodil leaves before they started getting slimy and eaten by slugs and snails. I tied them into two bunches and hung them up to dry in the shady back garden.
After about three weeks they had shrunk considerably and changed colour from mostly green to mostly yellowy brown.
In class, we sprayed them with water and then rolled them in a damp towel and left them for about 10-15 minutes to soften up, before using them as a core material in coiled basketry – here’s the piece I made.
However, one of the other students (thanks Gareth!) also showed me how to make cordage (aka string). This is a video I found on YouTube that demonstrates the method.
So I used the rest of the daffodil leaves to make some cordage. I started with 2-ply, using two leaves in each ply (ie four leaves in total).
It’s difficult to see in the photo, but there is lovely colour variation in the cordage from the different leaves. It also smells lovely, like hay!
There are a few bits sticking out where I joined in a new leaf – I will cut these off later.
I also made slightly thicker 3-ply cordage, using six leaves, two in each ply. Here’s a photo showing the relative thicknesses: the 3-ply is at the top, 2-ply underneath.
Because of the opposing twists, you can stop at any time and the cordage doesn’t unravel – so I can keep on going when I get more leaves!
Other long, thin leaves such as iris can also be used for this. I have a lot of crocosmia in my garden, so I’m looking forward to making more cordage in the autumn!