Yucca Fiber: History & Use

Yucca Fiber: History & Use

Posted by : Mary Wutz   /  

Image from Navajopeople.org

Yucca: Another versatile plant providing us with food, fiber and medicine. Yucca fiber processing is an ancient art form. As early as 100,000 B.C.E., humans began to insulate and protect the body from discomfort with various animal and plant materials. Yucca was among these fibers initially used as well as cedar bast, braided vine, and twinned babiche. 

Around 6,000 B.C.E., braiding, latticing, or knotting came on the scene and formed sandals, basketry and moccasins. Yucca fiber also yielded capes, skirts, handbags, blankets, hammocks and bedrolls. 

From raw leaves, to finely spun yucca yarn, the leaves have been used in every form. The book Treading in the Past: Sandals of the Anasazi showcases many excellent examples of yucca fiber in all forms including fiber used for sandals by Native Americans. In this culture, Yucca was also used for cordage, bags, nets, and clothing. 

There are hundreds of plants with a rich history of use for fiber. If we look to this past, the answers needed for a future in truly sustainable fashion lay within our ancestry. 

For information on how to actually process yucca fiber, click here.

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