Topic: Additional historically accurate cordage: "Lime Bast Cordage"  (Read 693 times)


Roheline

« on: October 08, 2020, 02:07:27 AM »
I was trying to understand what would have been the most historically accurate plants Iron Age Finns would have used to make cordage (for a modding project) and stumbled across this fascinating (to me) article: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/2a6d/ff8587122250da93e1c4367ce588185f9f78.pdf?_ga=2.76018320.40765779.1602115062-546477513.1602115062

In case anyone else was slightly confused like me, "lime" is apparently an alternative name for the Linden tree, which is found all over Europe including at least the southern half of Finland. I had no idea that such cordage was such a prevalent trade good across the region or that it was used and in demand well into the 20th century!

I think it would be neat to add Linden trees to the game and allow players to gather the bark and prepare it by one of the methods described in the article (either by peeling in summer and then soaking in water for 4 weeks or by gathering in winter and smoking it). Alternatively, perhaps a process to gather bark from a variety of trees beyond what's currently permitted and prepare into cordage by soaking, peeling, and twisting?
« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 02:11:44 AM by Roheline »

JP_Finn

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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2020, 04:28:06 PM »
I like it. Even the Latin name for linden (lehmus in Finnish) is tilia cordata

IMO, we need more varied trees and their non-lumber uses.

PALU

« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2020, 06:15:42 PM »
As in Erkka? ;)

And yes, I'd like more things to do with trees.

Roheline

« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2020, 10:09:43 PM »
For me, one of the most immersive and enjoyable parts of gameplay (especially once my character has achieved a stable food source, built a cabin, etc) is falling into that daily rhythm of crafting, cooking, hunting, and all the little activities that occupy human life but are typically not portrayed in mainstream games. I like the idea of having additional historically accurate options for making a living that require labor but are also feasible and not just luck dependent like trapping furs, for example. I like the idea of having the cordage made have at least some trading value, as the article indicates it was considered an important trade good across northern Europe for centuries.

Of course some players might consider it as a "spammable" trade good but if there's a limited season to gather materials and a time check for soaking, I think it wouldn't be like just spamming out 100 wooden cups and running off to the village with them. I like to imagine my character spending a winter twisting linden cord and then going to the village with a bundle of it to trade for dried fish for the spring or seeds for planting.

PALU

« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2020, 11:53:14 PM »
Given that Sami has implemented limited demand in villages, I don't think you'd be able to sell huge amounts to the nearest village.

However, I'd imagine the UrW NPCs to be mostly self sufficient with ropes, as they're mostly subsistence farmers (those that are farming: reindeer herders probably traded even less). It seemed from the article that the main uses of traded rope were ship related, and UrW doesn't yet have any NPC boats, let alone ships.

Roheline

« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2020, 12:29:38 AM »
There is a mention of it being used in fishing nets from very early finds onward as well as having agricultural uses, so I guess I was imagining trading it to western fishing villages and perhaps to the farming cultures such as the Sartola etc.

PALU

« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2020, 09:14:47 AM »
Yes, but there's still the problem of the coastal fisher/farmers mostly being subsistence based, and thus lacking the surplus to buy much from the outside, although material for nets would probably be a priority if they can't produce it themselves.

BTA

« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2020, 04:20:04 AM »
I saw an interesting documentary about how paper used to be made. It was a secret that China kept from the rest of the world for centuries.  The inner bark of a mulberry tree is soaked, cooked and pounded into a fine paste then strained and dried - much like the making of plant cordage.

Parchment was rare, very expensive and delicate compared to paper. Everyone in China read - instructions, made notes, communication.. Only the wealthy and scholars could read or write where parchment was used. Paper enabled advances in civilization, most notably when the Middle East captured the secret to making paper.

Linseed oil would also be a natural usage in URW. Flax seeds, linseed oil and linen come from the flax plant. Hemp makes superior food, animal fodder, clothing material, medicine. LOL what would we do without grocery stores, malls and now, online sto"res?! :)

"Wisdom is more powerful than knowledge"

Buoidda

« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2020, 12:06:18 AM »
Well our president is Niinistö as in "Lime(?) Bast Grove"  ;D

If I remember right, all plant fibre cordage on Ötzi was of lime bast
(Page 70 lists tree species useful for bast cordage):
Bortenschlager, Sigmar, Oeggs, Klaus (eds) 2000.
The Iceman and his Natural Environment: Palaeobotanical Results.
https://books.google.fi/books?id=roEsBAAAQBAJ&lpg

also this was interesting:

"In the Mesolithic, cord has been recovered made from lime, elm, juniper, willow and rowan bast...
Historical records include the use of mosses, grasses, heather, lime, birch, hazel, beech, yew, pine and spruce...
The best bast is obtained from young trees cut in early summer,
though collecting it at this time implies a retting process lasting
several weeks, to degrade the soft tissues and separate the bast
from the outer bark. Bast can be processed more quickly in early
spring as the sap is rising, or in winter, in which case the bast can be
separated rapidly over a fire."
Hardy, Karen 2018. "Plant use in the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic: Food, medicine and raw materials"
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.04.028

EDIT: Made a separate thread for my basticism: http://www.unrealworld.fi/forums/index.php?topic=6094.msg16575#msg16575.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2020, 06:20:09 AM by Buoidda »
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Brygun

« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2020, 05:24:49 AM »
Part of what BAC was capturing was the alternatives to making. Cordage can come from many sources. Now the game includes withes, cut from saplings, which are pretty easy to find.

BAC has digging up spruce roots, the thin ones actually are real life cordage by splitting them in two if not using in their natural flexible state. (note would like to block harvesting those in winter).

I've long felt we needed some more tiers to the games tying system which we got a bit of. Still like to see things like string (thin and weak, quality ones good for bows) vs cord (medium strength can be crude) vs rope (highest strength) along with braiding them to make better ones.

More real trees though with real uses is a good thing Imho.


JP_Finn

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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2020, 04:46:40 AM »
Well our president is Niinistö as in "Lime(?) Bast Grove"  ;D
“Lime” can be translated also as “lehmus”, not just “limetti”
Yeah, most of the time “lehmus” gets translated to “linden”.

Buoidda

« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2020, 02:07:43 PM »
...I've long felt we needed some more tiers to the games tying system which we got a bit of. Still like to see things like string (thin and weak, quality ones good for bows) vs cord (medium strength can be crude) vs rope (highest strength) along with braiding them to make better ones...

I can't help commenting (against my better judgement) that it makes more sense to place bowstrings in the medium category, though. Besides, old bowstrings tended to be bulkier than modern people might realize, for two reasons: materials could not be relied on to the same extent as modern synthetic fibres and safety for the bow was much more crucial (hence overbuilt strings (and bows for that matter)).

I do agree that string/thread/yarn-class tying eq (the string @Brygun talks about) would be useful.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2020, 06:16:11 PM by Buoidda »
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Sami

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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2020, 06:00:24 PM »
I think it would be neat to add Linden trees to the game and allow players to gather the bark and prepare it by one of the methods described in the article (either by peeling in summer and then soaking in water for 4 weeks or by gathering in winter and smoking it). Alternatively, perhaps a process to gather bark from a variety of trees beyond what's currently permitted and prepare into cordage by soaking, peeling, and twisting?

Yep, Linden trees and their bark usage for cordage would be a suitable addition. The same goes for willows too. More trees and more usage for trees is among planned development goals.
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