Types of Willow
Barfad Willow produces brown willow, living willow rods and pegs. Sometimes there is a little green willow available in the spring. I don't produce white, buff or steamed willow.
Brown Willow: This is willow with its bark left on. It is cut and stored until dry. When fully dry it is known as 'brown willow'. This is a little confusing as the bark can be many different colours as well as brown. Brown willow has to be soaked before use.
Green Willow: Freshly cut willow that has not fully finished drying is known as green willow. Once again, this can be confusing as green willow comes in very many colours other than green. It is not advisable to weave with green willow as shrinkage will result in a loose weave.
Living Willow Rods: Long, straight, one year old, freshly cut rods that are still alive. These can be planted and woven into all types of living willow structures and sculptures. Some species of willow will produce rods of over four metres in one season. That's nearly 2cms of growth a day! Sometimes I think I can see my willow growing - maybe I can!
Pegs (Cuttings or Sets): Small lengths willow cut from the butt (thick) end of the rod and kept alive for planting.
White (stripped) Willow: This is willow which has had the bark stripped off during the spring when the sap has risen. It produces creamy white rods.
Buff Willow: Boiled in water for several hours to loosen the bark, buff willow is peeled mechanically . The boiling process releases tannin in the bark which dyes the willow a pale brown.
Steamed willow: To produce steamed willow brown willow is boiled to release the tannin, then dried with the bark left on. The tannin dyes the willow bark a chocolate brown colour.