Apocynum is commonly referred as Indian hemp and depending on the region known by other names such as Milkweed, Bitter root, Wall flower. The plant is native to North America and was used as a source of fiber. It was especially important in the lives of the Native Americans. They used Indian hemp to tie the frames of their winter lodges together, they made nets out if the Indian Hemp which was strong enough to catch fish like the sturgeon. The Itatamat, or "counting the days" was a very important ritual for a married Indian women. She would record her life events by tying a knot on the string every time something significant occured. Any important event like birth, death, marriages were marked by adding shells, beads or talismans to it. They also made soft bags with the Indian hemp. With more stress on ecofriendly products, clothes, bags and a range of household products are made using Indian Hemp fiber.
Indian Hemp belongs to the genus Apocynum and includes about seven species. These plants are found in moist areas, near streams and ditches. Apocynum plant is one of the wild plants that has a thin, long, soft and shiny fiber and came to be known as "King of the wild fiber".
Apocynum or Indian Hemp are woven to make fine thread that is stronger than cotton thread.These woven threads are used in making nets, fabric and bowstrings. They are cultivated in well drained moist soil with full or partial shade of sun. Indian hemp is a perennial herb grown in 2-4 feet in height and 2-4 feet in width also. Indian Hemp herb is naturally occurring with green leaves and red colored stems. Flowers are grouped and appear in bell shape with green and white colors. The size of apocynum flower is 1/4 inch wide. The Indian hemp is still grown in california for fiber. In autumn the dead plants are burnt to stimulate growth plants with longer stems and get better seeds from the next harvest.
Click on the links below to get more products made with Indian Hemp fiber, an attractive range of Bean bags, clothing, cushions, pillows, curtains and furniture.