Hero photograph


Alastar Busch —

For my Te Kura correspondence in Alt Ed I was doing science and I had to do some Flax weaving. I made a putiputi. It was hard on my first try but then did it a second time and it was a lot better. I first started to cut the Harakeke but you can only cut the outer ones as the middle one is juvenile and the two that are just out of that are the parents. If you cut them the fan of the flax will die. Before you cut the flax you will need to say a karakia to the plant and it will give you good luck. When you cut the Harakeke you need to cut it at 45 degrees, away from the inside of the plant to stop moisture building up and rotting the plant out.

After you do that, you can cut most of the hard part of the stem so it is not so hard to work with. Once you have the flax with you you need to pinch off about 5mm off the back/spine of the leaf. Then you can make the top end of the leaf most of the way down, into even strips. Then you get a butter knife and use the blunt side on the dull side of the flax to bend it over the knife and gently rub it up and down to make the flax more pliable.

Then you lay the flax out flat on the table and fold the second strip back to you and then the 4th and so on. Then fold the first strip right over the ones you did not fold back to you. Then fold the ones you folded back to you over the strip that is across and then fold the 3rd and 5th back to you and repeat the pattern until the flower is complete.

Alastar Busch