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How do you weave Hawaiian coconut palm fronds?
By ronald from Tampa, FL
In Hawaii its a Hawaiian craft known as "Lauhala" (basket weaving using natural materials). Consider the below listed websites, or google using the following words ("lauhala", basket weaving Hawaiian craft coconut palms)...several websites popped up, and here are a couple websites:
Basket Weaving Course - Basketry for art & craft deco ... How to Weave Hawaiian Coconut Palm Fronds. by Jim Widess. Amazon Price: $13.46
(One of my best friends in Hawaill makes these baskets with coconut or palm fronds and sells them at craft shows [however no website]. She really enjoys it) Hope this info helps with your search. Good luck.
First you have to soak them in water for at least hour or more (in your tub, the sink or a bucket). Then follow any basket making directions (look online). Before you weave them, you can dye them in hot water & a dye-bath if you'd like another color.
You can also twist them to make rope or even macrame or crochet with them, but first they should be soaked in water. If you want you can split them & tear them down the center to make them thinner. The thinner the fiber, the easier to crochet!For stronger rope, use to strands & ply them together using a drill to twist them into rope. Some people leave them in the bathtub overnight to soak. You can make everything from hats & slippers to handbags & belts, but it's not a quickie task! Start with something easy like a hot pad or a small floor mat.
Hola from sunny Colombia, Is their special care I need to insure long life for my palm floor mat that is on my deck ? gracias
How can I make the leaves stronger and not brittle when I dry them and put varnish? Is it possible for me to put varnish on the leaves?
This all depends on what you want to weave. If you are making roof panels then you weave them in two pieces and put them together. When they dry out, you nail them to your home. They will overlap and make a strong roof for your home.
For making plates or other decorative items, you weave the leaves when they are green. Yes they will dry out and shrink a bit. There is no need to soak them in water. If you want them to last for decorations around the home you can add a coat of varnish when they are completely dry. I would use spray varnish it is a bit easier to use. You can also use a can of spray paint and paint the leaves before they are varnised. I make all kinds of items out of coconut leaves and the life span of the leaves is around 7 to 8 years before you need to make new ones.
Coconut leaves are very strong, using a sealer would be a great idea. Using a spray sealer will help coat the leaves and get through to hard to get places that brushing sealer may not.
In Tahiti coconut palm leaves are woven into niau food plates for special occasions. The plates are made by weaving two sections of coconut fronds together.