Knotted Net Bags

knotted netting

Aug 3/4 (Sat/Sun)

10.30am – 5pm both days


Venue: open air woodland setting in a 70 acre ancient coppiced wood on a family-run working  farm: peaceful and beautiful Dernwood Farm Nr Heathfield, East Sussex.

Making a netted bag is one of the best uses for natural cordage, and there’s archaeological evidence that our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors did the same: using knotted netting techniques to make bags, fishing nets and other traps. If you’ve ever had a go at making cordage you’ll know what a satisfying experience that is. But you might have then wondered what to use the cordage for.

Come and make your own useful and beautiful bag, using a knotting technique and a bone / wood needle, just as our distant ancestors would have done. Perfect for carrying foraged edibles or modern day things like your water bottle, phone, etc.

knotted netting

You’ll learn which plants have the right fibres for making this kind of netted bag, and how to forage and prep the plants, some of which we’ll harvest on site. With two days available there’ll be time for in-depth learning, processing/extracting all your fibres and sinking into the repetitive rhythm of making your cordage and then knotting it into a bag. You’ll have time to refine and consolidate your cordage-making skills, becoming confident in the technique.

You’ll leave knowing all you need to make a knotted net bag from living plant to finished bag.

Suitability: this course is suitable for people who’ve made cordage before and/or have experience with crafts using knotting / looping etc. If you have only a little experience you’re still welcome, just bear in mind that you may make a smaller bag in the time.
Groups are kept small to allow for individual attention.

If you’re a complete beginner, the Wild Cordage course is recommended as a starting point. The Looped Rush Bags day-long course would be good as an introduction to netting.

A simple but hearty vegetarian lunch is provided, we’ll have have a kettle on the camp fire, plus a huge tarp on hand for cover in case we need it. I aim to offer you a satisfying learning experience as well as an enjoyable time away from it all. To support you in getting the most from the day, we’ll connect to the woodland surroundings through a short and simple, guided mindfulness-based practice.

Being absorbed in such a beautiful activity in a beautiful place was very enriching and exactly what I needed. Thank you for making it so. JB, Sussex

Accommodation: camping is available at the farm venue and full details about this will be sent to you when you book on the course. The farm also has glamping options- cosy bell tents and cabins with wood-burners. The cost of staying at the farm isn’t included in the cost of the course. Read more about onsite and offsite accommodation options.

You can read FAQs here.

See you in the woods!

Featured in the Guardian lifestyle section. National Geographic & Toyota put Native Hands in their top 125 UK adventures.