How to soak Austrian Grey white willow

When soaked and mellowed correctly, Austrian Grey white willow is lovely to work with. It is a variety that our weavers often use in our willow coffins.

6 – 7ft lengths of Austrian Grey white willow will require 3 – 4 hours soaking. (Reduce the soaking time by around 30 minutes per foot, so 3ft rods will need to soak for around 2 hours.)

The mellowing is very important. (Mellowing is wrapping the willow in hessian, a blanket or something similar.) Austrian Grey white willow needs to mellow for 2 days. After 2 days the willow will look dry. Don’t worry, the rods will have plenty of flexibility and bend well.

When mellowing, keep the bundles tightly tied and lay them down on the floor. Be sure to keep the willow out of direct sunlight and wind.

If the rod snaps while you are working with it, mellow for longer. The snapping is an indication that the rod is too wet.

Please remember that while the soaking time should be reduced for shorter rods the mellowing time stays the same. 4ft rods will need to mellow for 2 days, the same as 6ft rods.

Happy weaving!



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