My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Foliage Weaving

Weaving with foliage for floral art

To weave is to interlace bands or strands or strips of material at right angles to build up a patterned mat, surface or sculptural form

Weaving

This is a great starting point to learn how to weave with foliage. No need to soften or prepare the leaves to be more durable or flexible.

I used iris and cymbidium leaves to weave with but typha, lily grass or New Zealand Flax is great for larger weaves. In this tutorial I mainly used a balanced plain weave pattern that looks like a checker-board and is often described as a "one-up-one-down weave" or "over and under" pattern. There are many other weaving patterns but I find this to be the most versatile

To create an open ended weave:

Open ended weave, Horizontal blades

Place a few blades of grass in a parallel horizontal position.

Weave a vertical pattern, with a new blade of grass, under and over the horizontal pieces.

Weaving with foliage

Weave the second row, with a new blade of grass, over and under the horizontal pieces. Keep the weaving tight up against the previous row for a strong weave.

Minimalist weave with iris leaves

Handle with care- the weave will loosen up.

For a more secure weave you can try:
To create a closed ended weave:

Weaving with Foliage- closed ended weave 1

Take the end piece from the horizontal blades and weave it over and under across the horizontal blades.

Weaving with Foliage- closed ended weave 2

When you reach the other side, bend the blade over and weave it back the other way.

Weaving with Foliage- insert a section

Add new sections of foliage or grass as needed, by overlapping the end pieces and continue weaving.

To create a curve on one side:

Foliage weaving with a curve on one side

Take the end blade from the horizontal pieces and weave it over and under across the horizontal blades of iris leaves. Bend the next end piece from the same side as the first piece and weave across.

To create an edge that tapers on both sides:

Foliage weaving to create an edge that tapers on both sides

Take a strand from the horizontal pieces and weave. When this blade reaches its last full length of the weave, bend it over at the end, catching the end horizontal blade, and weave over the next horizontal blade and tuck it under the next horizontal piece. Cut any extra length. Bend the next blade from the other side (the opposite side of the previous weaving blade) and continue the weave.

Securing loose strands and finishing the woven design

Weave the loose strands back in to the box.

Finish the weave neatly by folding the loose strands over or under the previous weave line.

Durbanville Flower Club Arrangement- Weaving in Floral Art

Once you know how to weave you can start to experiment with your design: turn the pattern for a diagonal weave, add woven flowers, weave shapes, loosen the weave, pull an area tighter to create tension and curl the weave.

Weave a few loops into the pattern

Weave a few loops into the pattern

Weave a gap

Weave a gap

Weave ribbon into the design

Weave ribbon into the design

Weave in strands of ripped leaf

Weave in strands of ripped leaf

Add a variegated leaf as contrast

or add a variegated leaf as contrast.

A Special note about weaving with Flax:
Harvesting and preparation:
Do not cut the central shoot form the flax plant when harvesting. This weakens the plant.
Do not cut in rain or at night- the foliage will be hard to work with because of the added moisture.
Leave the leaves for an hour in the sun to soften- but no more as this will cause the leaves to roll up or become brittle.
For weaving:

Preparing Flax to weave with

Hold the dull underside of the leaves against the back of your knife blade and pull through. Turn the leaf over and do the other side. This removes added moisture and the leaf dry to a better colour

Every week I add a new design with related tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to receive an email notification with design inspiration.

Tutorials

5 January 2011 Palm leaf Hopper-flies (grasshoppers and butterflies)

Weave grasshoppers or butterflies (or fireflies) from palm leaves

21 July 2011 Weaving a bird

I wove my bird from shaved wood but you can also use flax, coconut palm (more traditional) or paper or ribbon

21 July 2011 Weaving a fan basket

Dark and dramatic burgundy lilies are tucked in low to line a fan shaped basket that unravels into an unruly nest

14 January 2011 Ripping Flax

Flax can be ripped into fibres creating long and versatile strips

25 April 2012 A plait, a braid or a French knot grass collar

"Plaid" and "braid" are synonyms, and where you are from will most likely dictate whether you use plait (British) or braid (American or Celtic). Some people also refer to...

Favourite Flowers

Phormium

Flax, New Zealand flax

Typha

Cattail, graceful, ribbon grass

Related Designs

7 June 2011 Floating Boat Orchid

The name Cymbidium or boat Orchid is derived from the Greek word Kumbos meaning "hole or cavity", referring to the hollowness in the base of the lip of the flowers.

21 July 2011 Tradition and Technique, Technique and Tradition

When you need inspiration for a design problem study a Traditional Craft- you will be amazed!

7 April 2011 Weaving with Flax

Here are a few more examples of woven flax. I also use Typha, palm, iris leaves, Kyogi paper, boat orchid leaves and aspidistra to weave with.

12 April 2011 "On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... two turtle doves"

Flax Christmas tree "cake" for the Floral Trends Design Group end of the year function.

20 December 2011 Our finest gifts we bring,

A small, all natural gift box woven from palm

5 September 2012 Just Right! Floral Art demonstration: Just Right!

My third design in my demonstration at the BC Floral Art Society meeting

4 April 2011 its a wrap!

Banana leaves used to wrap flowers instead of Tissue paper or Cellophane

1 October 2012 How to catch a dew drop:

Weave a sphere from grass to catch a precious and exquisite and perfect glistening early autumn dew drop

14 January 2013 It's High Time for Tea: from craft to art, taking a delicious floral journey with weaving techniques

This was the first two designs for my Floral Art and craft demonstration at The Capilano Flower Arranging club

3 April 2013 April showers bring May flowers

After a long winter it is always fun to use the first spring bulb flowers!

5 June 2013 Just not Flowers!

My article and woven ring-box design featured in the DIY Wedding Magazine

4 April 2011 Floral Trends Design Group Opening Demonstration: 2010

A look at the Old and New of Floral art

4 September 2013 Been there, Seen that

My article and woven heart basket design featured in the third anniversary issue of <strong>DIY Weddings Magazine</strong>

19 February 2014 Come on Over

Weave an open foliage flower frog

23 April 2014 Bound to Keep

Weave and tie a decorative catcher to suspend flowers

16 July 2014 Unraveling fast

Weaving foliage to create a lush water scene

27 August 2014 Brought Together

Loosely weave blades of grass together

24 September 2014 Leapfrog

Fold and weave a frog from grass

15 October 2014 Thanks-Weaving

Weaving a hat with an autumn leaf and rose hip garland

14 January 2015 Take a load off

Weave slippers from foliage

28 January 2015 In a State of Flow

weave some willow to use as an armature

4 March 2015 Oh!

Wrap and weave grass to create a rose sphere

12 August 2015 Catch of the Day

Weave a loose basket to display a single flower... or three

2 September 2015 Happy Dance

Split a few bamboo sections to create a happy water source for miniature orchids

15 June 2016 One tug

Weave willow bark strips into a nest and weave a bird from flax

13 July 2016 Woven

Weave a canopy or parachute shaped armature for orchids to perch on

20 July 2016 A Shade of Summer

Twist and weave a lily grass summer hat

3 August 2016 Practice

Weave a willow bird nest

12 October 2016 I found it this way: Bird nest design

This was the fourth design I did in my "I found it this way" floral art demonstration

25 January 2017 What is in a basket of spectacular?

Weave a basket with dangling edges for a single orchid display

5 April 2017 Easter Bonnet

Weave a delicate Pillbox hat

17 May 2017 Nobody move!

Weave a small basket with a lid to keep fluffy treasures in

9 August 2017 Hat tip

Tip a mortarboard inspired top at an angle for a glass design

15 August 2018 Bursting with excitement

Loosely weave grass to create a decorative grid keeping flowers in place over a square container.

17 October 2018 But wait… there's more!

Tucked into the box with every advance copy of the book, the effortless floral craftsman is a packet of clips. This design and Tutorial is a bit of inspiration... what will you...

27 February 2019 It’s a trap!

Weave a trap to keep your floral details suspended in a square container.

13 March 2019 How to avoid your wedding treasures from becoming “after the event trash”

My article and grass wedding basket design.

3 April 2019 Blossoming like a Caterpillar

Crafting caterpillars from blossoms

29 May 2019 Creative Competition

This week I am so excited to share my article and design that was published in the recent issue of the Floral Art Society of New Zealand's Academy Magazine for NZ qualified...

12 June 2019 Almost... all over!

Loop a grass veil over a lily stem to create a minimalist summer design.

19 June 2019 Club together

Last Wednesday I had such a flowery fun evening teaching a collaborative floral carpet workshop focusing on braiding and weaving ideas from my book the effortless floral craftsman...

19 June 2019 Magic Flying Floral Carpet Ride -Collaborative Workshop

Some picture highlights from our collaborative workshop that I taught focusing on braiding and weaving techniques to create a floral carpet design.

26 June 2019 “Ok wow”

A design so fine you can easily miss it... if it were not for the interwoven pebbles catching your eye.

14 August 2019 For a longer lasting Summer

A creative way to keep foliage hydrated for a cool, water filled summer design.