Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Cordage: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Fibers and Ropemaking

April 9, 2022 @ 10:00 am 4:30 pm

Registration Closes: Friday April 8 @ 3pm

Let’s make rope and string from the natural world!  In this hands-on workshop, students will examine and learn to process a variety of natural fibers from plant and animal sources to make useful, strong and beautiful cordage suitable for a host of practical jobs, from tying shoes to building a house!  Using handwork techniques and traditional tools, we’ll learn how (and when and why) to make high-speed, extra-strong, and three-ply cord with excellent quality control.  All materials provided.

Why cordage? Cordage tied the ancient world together. It is one of the pillars of technology, allowing the invention of a long list of vitally important objects. This knowledge helps us to understand the otherwise hidden history of how regular people contributed to the world as we know it. The knowledge of hand techniques allows us to construct and repair things that would otherwise have to be bought new, saving money and resources. Best of all, it fosters a powerful can-do positive attitude, giving us confidence and self reliance.

Workshop Details

The class will be on April 9, 2022 from 10:00am – 4:30pm in Asheville, NC. It will be held outdoors in a covered pavilion. There will be a half hour break for lunch. Please bring a bagged lunch and a sharp knife and/or scissors to work with.

This class is for everyone interested in making cordage, from beginners to advanced. We will begin at the beginning and go until we learn things we never knew we could! Minimum age is 12, minors must be accompanied by an adult.

About the Instructor

Jeffrey Gottlieb, MS (in Biology), has been a Naturalist, Outdoor Educator and Primitive Skills Instructor for more than 40 years. He works with school groups, nature centers, museums, scout troops and summer camps, builds full-sized wigwams and longhouses and replicates primitive tools and artifacts for display.  His areas of special interest include fiber arts, flintknapping, basketry, edible and utilitarian plants, and nature awareness. He travels widely in the Eastern U.S. teaching at rendezvous, gatherings and historic fairs. He has written a how-to manual on building wigwams, an instructors’ manual entitled Teaching Primitive Skills to Children and a book on natural fibers and ropemaking called Fibers of Life.

Sliding Scale $125 – $45

In order to make our workshops more accessible, we offer two price options for each class, with an additional Equity Discount for qualifying individuals. Please consider these options and select your price at checkout.

  • Sponsor Price $125: For those who have enough to share, thank you for being a Sponsor. This is an opportunity to contribute towards the cost of the class for someone else.
  • Standard Price $85: The Standard reflects one person’s share of what it costs to produce the class and cover basic expenses.
  • Equity Price $45: We offer an additional Equity Discount for those from the following communities who support reparations and/or an equitable redistribution of wealth and would not have access to this workshop without this discount:

Thank you for helping to transform the world into a culture of abundance, resilience, and opportunity for all.

Still not sure which pricing option to choose? Click here for questions that can help you self assess which ticket tier to select.


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking “Get Tickets” will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Tickets are no longer available

Registration Closes: Friday April 8 @ 3pm

Asheville, North Carolina United States + Google Map

Stay Connected

Subscribe to our Newsletter for updates on all things Firefly, such as Perennial Workshops, Book Nook, and Annual Gathering News.

Stay Connected

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on all things Firefly, including Perennial Workshops, Firefly's Book Nook, and Annual Gathering News.

Kimberly Dunn

Finance Manager (she/her)

Having grown up in a multicultural family, Kimberly’s love for languages and traditional cultures is infused into everything she creates. After many years overseas, she now calls the Appalachian mountains her home and continues to keep the adventure alive by staying close to the wild. Kimberly is a singer songwriter, dancer, women’s circle facilitator, personal finance astrologer, bookkeeper, yoga teacher, and chef.