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cloth from kudzu

 
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Kill kudzu and make money from it.  How cool is that?  Kudzu is not just a food and medicine plant, it's also a great source of clothing.  

Alas, kudzu doesn't grow where I live, so I can't play with it.  Even if I could grow it, it's on the 'invasive list' so I'm not supposed to.  But I'm posting this in hope that someone here might be inspired and try making kudzu cloth.  

The Book of Kudzu: A Culinary & Healing Guide
By William Shurtleff, Akiko Aoyagi




Chapter 5 is all about harvesting, processing and weaving with kudzu fibre.  

With luck, the book preview will show up here.  If I did it right, I don't know how long it will last.  So grab the information while you can and get out there and transform this invasive species into a cottage industry.  

If kudzu is half as invasive as they say, then for some readers out there, money really does grow on trees vines.
 
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I was seriously surprised to find another use for kudzu. Chewing Tabacco. We have a company here in AB that sells herbal chew and main ingredient apparently is kudzu. Weeds for the win!
 
r ranson
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Seeking participants for a kudzu project.

If anyone is interested in taking this to the next level, let me know.  All you need is a dream, the enthusiasm to see it through, a willingness to learn and an eagerness try new things.  I can provide free online mentoring and classes in the skills you need (over a thousand dollars worth of value) but you would have to do the work because I have no kudzu.  

What you get out of it, knowledge and skill necessary to transform kudzu into cloth and a start towards your own cottage industry.

What I get out of it, proof that it can be done and a sample of the kudzu yarn you made.

I would like a group of 4 to 10 people.  Once we have this I can set up a private forum where we can work.  
I anticipate it will take one to two years to get your skills up to the level where you can sell your product.  

 
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I am interested in this, but I won't be able to devote much time before late July.

I researched this a bit last year and came accross the following...
Harvest lengths of green vine, boil for an hour. Place boiled vine under a pile of leaves to ferment. I don't remember how long was recommended. (Source lost) Below source says to place in pampas.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSq7dJAECJc
Clean fermented vine in river.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA0uQeBX7k8
Make thread...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_EJ0zHISiY



Just in case you had not run accross this site in your research. Author was teaching how to do this stuff. The last info posted was in 2014 though.
Advertisement for 2014 kudzu workshop in Georgia.
http://www.kudzuweaving.com/
overview of processing
http://www.kudzuweaving.com/p/about-kudzu-fiber.html
Recommended reading list is on this site as well.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:Harvest lengths of green vine, boil for an hour.


This meant to use current years' growth.

Our killing frosts don't occur until mid October, so I would still have time to work on this in the current year.
 
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Hello everyone, my first post here but a long time luker    

I would be interested also but I'm in the West where Kudzu doesn't grow.  I'm a spinner and
beginning knitter....and its probably time for me to learn to work with the vegie fibers.
 
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raven ranson wrote:Seeking participants for a kudzu project.

If anyone is interested in taking this to the next level, let me know.  All you need is a dream, the enthusiasm to see it through, a willingness to learn and an eagerness try new things.  I can provide free online mentoring and classes in the skills you need (over a thousand dollars worth of value) but you would have to do the work because I have no kudzu.  

I'm interested. I live in kudzu country, NC, zone 7b. But i'd like to find some kudzu that has not been sprayed. I'll ask around.

 
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Hi Raven,

If Kudzu vines can be used, could that same sort of process be used with English Ivy Vines?  I've got a definite surplus of those and they're adding too much wind load to our large trees. I've had past experience with weaving, but not spinning or fiber preparation.

We're not fenced, so I can't use goats to help me get on top of the problem and the people I've spoken to insist that the only thing to do with the pulled out material is to burn it (and they haven't really given me a satisfactory explanation of *why* that's the only thing to do).

J.
 
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funny enough i have been cutting green kudzu vine off the front of my land (near hickory nc) lately to do just this.... not sure how the book says to process the fiber but i have a good hunch that i know how to make high quality fiber much quicker than the hand peel method... gonna get these vines retted and put up to dry for when i have more time to process them later in the year... need to build some simple equipment anyhow and pick up my spinning wheel from my folks place in new york before i can do much  
 
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How do you get the kudzu book?  All of the book store links say product not found.

Karen
 
r ranson
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Karen Ruff wrote:How do you get the kudzu book?  All of the book store links say product not found.

Karen



Google books has it free to read online right now.  I'm not sure about the print copy.  Maybe abebooks https://www.abebooks.com ?
 
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I just came across your post. Are you still looking for participants for your project? I have 14 acres in Alabama that is covered in kudzu.
 
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Really surprised to find people promoting this plant on a permaculture website… seriously?

Please read up at this website of the nature conservancy:

https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/united-states/indiana/stories-in-indiana/kudzu-invasive-species/

Regards - René (he/him)
 
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r ranson wrote:Kill kudzu and make money from it.  How cool is that?  Kudzu is not just a food and medicine plant, it's also a great source of clothing.  

Even if I could grow it, it's on the 'invasive list' so I'm not supposed to.  But I'm posting this in hope that someone here might be inspired and try making kudzu cloth.  

If kudzu is half as invasive as they say, then for some readers out there, money really does grow on trees vines.



@Raynier please re read the original post and all the replies.

The op is not promoting the propagation of kudzu, rather a sustainable use of what is an acknowledged invasive plant.
 
Jay Angler
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Raynier Van Egmond wrote:Really surprised to find people promoting this plant on a permaculture website… seriously?

Thank you for posting the link, although we really need more permaculture based controls than some the link suggests.

My observation from north of the border, is that the only way a plant like Kudzu will be controlled is if we find ways to for people to make money off it. I would much prefer those methods be permaculture friendly uses such as animal feed, making paper, making fertilizer, or maybe even using it to make biodiesel instead of growing corn for that purpose.

I don't think anyone here is suggesting we plant more of it. In fact most members of permies are specifically looking for ways to control its spread, but they want to do so in a positive, useful way. Do you live in an area which already has Kudzu growing? I've heard that it's edible for humans as well as the cows and goats mentioned in the article. I'd love to know what it tastes like, and what recipes people have tried - we've got a thread for that too, I think...

Welcome to permies, René. I hope you will help us find more solutions to the abundance of Kudzu!
 
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Karen Ruff wrote:How do you get the kudzu book?  All of the book store links say product not found.

Karen



Ebay seems to be the only reasonably priced place for this book right now, $30 cheaper than Amazon
 
Chris Vee
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r ranson wrote:Seeking participants for a kudzu project.

If anyone is interested in taking this to the next level, let me know.  All you need is a dream, the enthusiasm to see it through, a willingness to learn and an eagerness try new things.  I can provide free online mentoring and classes in the skills you need (over a thousand dollars worth of value) but you would have to do the work because I have no kudzu.  

What you get out of it, knowledge and skill necessary to transform kudzu into cloth and a start towards your own cottage industry.

What I get out of it, proof that it can be done and a sample of the kudzu yarn you made.

I would like a group of 4 to 10 people.  Once we have this I can set up a private forum where we can work.  
I anticipate it will take one to two years to get your skills up to the level where you can sell your product.  



We will be opening a farm stand this season and have a lot of traffic on Sundays when we will be open. We have several friends and their family members that have kudzu growing on their property and would be interested in more of your thoughts on how to move forward with processing and profiting from clearing kudzu off our friends properties... if this is still a thing 5 years later
 
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