How to Bind Willow

On this page I will give you some info on how to bind willow the traditional way. Using this method the bundles of osiers can be bound without the ties unravelling as they are being transported or stored.

1. Gather your cut willow into a bundle, then select a rod and wrap it around the bundle horizontally towards the bottom.
2. Fold the tip of the rod around the butt and loop it around itself 3 or 4 times as shown.
3. Loop the tip back around on itself again and thread it back through the gap. Known as the "eye"
4. Pull the butt of the rod tight toward yourself and start cranking/twisting it to break the fibres.
5. Keep the tension on the rod and pull it tight around the bundle cranking the rod as you go.
6. Continue cranking the rod keeping it pulled tight and you will feel it tightening against the bundle
7. Eventually a knot will start to form at the bottom, known as the "snarl"
8. Continue cranking and the willow will form a very strong twisted binding at the snarl.
9. Final thing is the bend the butt of the rod that is left and tuck it back up into center of the bundle.
10. Repeat on the top so you have two binds per bundle.

It gets easier with practice!