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Bast weaving: material, tool and technique
Bast weaving: material, tool and technique

Lapts are called low shoes, widely used in Russia by peasants until the 30s of the last century. Lychaks once deserved great popularity, first of all, for their low cost. Weaved such shoes in the villages usually with their own hands. At the same time, a free bast was used as a material.

Of everyday use, such shoes, of course, have long gone. However, the technique of weaving bast shoes is not forgotten by today's masters. Nowadays, "lychaks" can be made as souvenirs, as an addition to Russian folk costumes, or even as original home shoes.

How to weave bast shoes

There are several techniques for weaving bast shoes. At the same time, modern craftsmen can use different materials to make such shoes.

From what you can weave

Today, as in the past, masters for weaving bast shoes can also use traditional birch bark or bast. Also, more modern materials can be used for such shoes. For example, bast shoes made byfrom:

  • newspaper tubes;

  • linoleum strips;

  • straw, etc.

Birch bark for bast shoes

Weaving from newspaper tubes

Such material in our time is very often used for the manufacture of various kinds of souvenirs, interior items, baskets, boxes, etc. Bast shoes made of newspaper tubes look very attractive and at the same time naturalistic. In any case, they look no worse than those made of bast. In some cases, not only souvenir bast shoes are made using this technology. Weaving from newspaper tubes of various kinds of products is a rather simple and quick matter. Even from this, it would seem, not too strong material, if desired, it is possible to make, among other things, bast shoes intended for wearing. Replacing slippers with such a product will be a relatively simple matter.

How to make straws: tools and materials

To weave bast shoes using this technology, first of all, you will need, of course, a stack of newspapers. You will also need to prepare sharp scissors, PVA glue and long knitting needles 2-3 mm. In addition, for the manufacture of newspaper "bast", you will need some water. Knitting needles for twisting tubules can be used both metal and plastic.

How to make a paper "bast"

Even for beginners, weaving bast shoes from newspaper tubes will probably not be too difficult. However, at the first stage, of course, it will be necessary to make a paper "bast" for such shoes correctly. Tubes are made fromnewspapers as follows:

  • Standard two-sheet newspaper is folded in half and cut along the fold line;

  • the resulting halves are again folded in half along the long side and cut again.

Thus, 4 long narrow rectangles are obtained from one newspaper. To make more paper "baskets" at once, you can cut a stack of sheets that is not too thick at the same time.

Then proceed as follows:

  • dilute the glue with water in a ratio of 1 to 3;

  • put the needle on the corner of the newspaper strip;

  • begin to wind the paper on the knitting needle evenly in a spiral;

  • fix the remaining corner on the diluted glue;

  • pull the needle out of the tube.

How to make newspaper tubes

Next, the finished paper "baskets" need to be painted using, for example, acrylic paint or a special color scheme. For weaving bast shoes from tubules, you should most likely choose a wheat-colored or beige product. If such shoes are made as a souvenir, you can, of course, use dyes of any other shade you like. If desired, such bast shoes can even be decorated with ornaments, flowers, etc.

Step-by-step weaving

Before starting to make bast shoes, newspaper tubes should be slightly moistened. There is no need to flatten them. Actually, there are several techniques for assembling shoes from such material. For example, for weaving bast shoes fromnewspaper tubes, you can use this simple technique:

  • the first tube is placed horizontally;

  • put the second tube on the resulting base-side, bending it in the shape of the letter "L";

  • in exactly the same way, parallel to the second "bar" in the form of "L", the third is planted;

  • twist one leg of each tube in a cross;

  • just likewise put 5 more "baskets" on the base.

The leg of each subsequent tube is passed with a simple pigtail into all the previous ones. Further, in the same way, the extreme legs are woven into the resulting canvas to the center, capturing the side. Do the same with the following free ends. The result should be the back of a bast shoe.

After every fourth cross in the center, additional tubes are inserted into the sole of the bast shoes (also with the letter “L”). Thus weave the lower part of the product to the end. Due to the presence of additional tubes, closer to the toe of the bast shoes, the necessary expansion will be obtained. Having tried on the sole to the foot, they begin to weave the top of the shoe. Do this part as follows:

  • leave in the center two tubes bent with the letter "L";

  • the first "tabs" along the edges of them are also intertwined with calico weave;

  • do the same with the following tubes, bringing them to the middle.

With this weaving, the fabric will begin to bend upwards, thus forming a toe. Lift up according to the method described above, you need everythingtubules. Next, it remains to mask the edges of the bast shoes and at the same time make the sides. To do this, two medium tubes on top of the toe should be twisted together and bent in the opposite direction, stretching each to the edge. Next, the material must be passed into the nearest hole from the side of the bast shoes and carefully glued to the sole.

The remaining tubes of each side must be twisted in their direction. Next, they should be hidden and glued from the side of the sole. More information about this technology of weaving bast shoes from tubules, which is very suitable for beginners, can be found in the video below.

Bast weaving

This material has been used to make shoes for a long time. A bast for bast shoes, both in ancient times and now, willow, elm, linden, etc., can be used. If desired, of course, it will not be too difficult to weave shoes from such material today. The only thing, in this case, you should first learn the actual technique of cutting and preparing the bast.

Bast shoes from bast

What tools will be required

Bast shoes are usually weaved from bast just on the knee or block. That is, no special tools for the manufacture of such shoes are most often used. Sometimes, to facilitate the weaving of strips, only the so-called kochedyk is used. Such a tool for weaving bast shoes consists of a wooden handle and a working curved part.

To cut the material intended for the manufacture of shoes, you will need to prepare, of course, a sharp knife. Also, the master, most likely,you will also need a hatchet. Such a tool, like a knife, should first be sharpened well.

Bake harvesting

It is believed that it is best to collect material in the forest for weaving bast shoes in the spring. At the same time, the most suitable type of bast for such products is linden. In the forest for harvesting material, you should find trees 3-4 m high with a trunk diameter of 5 cm near the ground. Such sticky trees usually grow in the thicket itself very densely, like reeds.

Such trees are cut with a hatchet. Further, the bast itself is removed from them:

  • separate with a knife a narrow strip of bark near the butt;

  • tear it off the barrel with a sharp movement;

  • separate the bast tube (fibrous part) from the bulb.

Just before weaving bast shoes, the material prepared in this way in the spring during the sap flow in the trees is soaked in water for a day and then steamed. Further, they are bastly valued, that is, they are cut into narrow strips, while simultaneously clearing the remnants of the bark.

How they are made

There are many techniques for weaving bast shoes from bast. Most often, such shoes, when using this material, as well as when using newspaper tubes, begin to weave from the heel. In this case, 6 strips are taken as the basis. Of these, a blank is formed for bast shoes - bindings. After forming, the base is pulled over the block and the sides are made, also called ears.

Further weave fasteners for frills - heels. The sole for strength is passed with a second layer of bast. At the final stage, bast shoes are decorated with golden or dark brown bark patterns.colors. In most cases, for the manufacture of shoes using bast, the technique of oblique weaving is used.

Weaving bast shoes from birch bark: blank

This material in the past was used to make shoes less often than bast. However, such bast shoes were once quite popular in the villages. When weaving bast shoes from bast, the material is harvested, as we found out, in the spring. Birch bark for this purpose is collected only after the end of sap flow in the trees. On the birch, by the time the bark is separated, leaves the size of a 5-kopeck coin should already bloom. That is, it is best to harvest birch bark, for example, in Central Russia at the end of May, at the beginning of June.

Today, as in the past, such material can be collected using two main methods: a spiral or a layer. The first technology is used for harvesting birch bark from thin young birch trees with a diameter of 13-15 cm. In this case, ribbons are cut in a spiral from a tree with a knife and twisted into balls with the white side out.

birch bark

The stripping technique is used for birches with a diameter of 15 to 30 cm. In this case, the tree is first cleaned of moss and cobwebs. Next:

  • make with a knife short horizontal cuts on the trunk at arm's length and at the very bottom;

  • vertical stripes are made from each top notch to the bottom;

  • separate strips of bark from the trunk;

  • put them in rolls.

From birch bark harvested in this way furthercut into narrow strips. Then the inner layer of the bast is separated from the outer one. At the final stage, the ribbons are wound into balls. For weaving bast shoes, only the bast of the inner layer is used.

Bast shoes from birch bark


The method of weaving shoes in this case is used a little differently than when using willow or any other bast. This is primarily due to the fact that birch bark is a two-sided and two-color material. They begin to weave bast shoes from such ribbons, most often not from the heel, but from the toe. Next, make out the edge, and then make the heel. The mat-base when using birch bark is recruited from 6, 10 or more tapes. In most cases, a material with a length to width ratio of about 50:1 is used. The simplest birch bark weaving technology is considered to be the one in which the bast shoes get pointed noses.

Production from linoleum: how to prepare the material

Bast weaving for beginners can be a little confusing. Therefore, before using bast or birch bark, beginners should still practice on some more accessible material. In this case, you can use, for example, a piece of old linoleum to teach weaving. This material also makes quite attractive bast shoes.

For weaving shoes in this case, use not too thick elastic linoleum without a backing. At the same time, 8 narrow straps are simply cut off from a strip 1.5 m long.

Weaving bast shoes step by step from linoleum

Shoes are usually made in this caseon the block. From the cut strips, the base-four is pre-assembled with chintz weaving. On each side of such a blank, four ends of synthetic "bast" should eventually remain.

Bast shoes from linoleum

In the corner of the resulting quadrangle, at the next stage, the far third stripes are braided to the center. The result is a sock bast shoes. Further, the fourth stripes are woven in the same way.

At the next stage, the workpiece is put on the block. As the last at home, you can use, for example, an old sneaker. On block:

  • bast shoes are turned towards themselves with the other side;

  • fifth tabs are intertwined towards the heel;

  • turn the block on its side and braid the remaining four strips into the sock (on both sides);

  • weave the sole of the bast shoes to the heel.

After such weaving, 8 stripes should remain on each side of the bast shoes. Continue making bast shoes as follows:

  • weave together 2 straps on top of the bast shoes in the forward direction, finally forming the sock (into each other with the second layer);

  • turn the bast shoes upside down again;

  • pull up all braided bands;

  • 2 each of the outermost straps are bent and weaved towards the heel.

As a result, 6 stripes will remain on each side of the bast shoes near the heel. Next, they begin to weave the heel itself:

  • takethird tabs far from the center and braid them towards the heel;

  • the rest of the strips are simply weaved in the same direction in turn.

At the final stage, the straps on the side are braided into their “line” with the second layer. They pass the entire side in this way, finally forming the heel and sidewalls of the bast shoes.

Instead of a conclusion

Thus, nowadays a variety of materials can be used for weaving bast shoes. If such products are made as souvenirs, it is best to take for them, of course, birch bark or bast. The same materials can be used for weaving home shoes. It is believed that birch bark is especially suitable for such bast shoes. This material, among other things, is also considered healing.

Vintage bast shoes

Newspaper strips are well suited for weaving both bast shoes designed for interior decoration and souvenirs. Linoleum should be used for making shoes for beginners. Such an artificial “bast”, of course, will not be useful for the legs. But training in weaving on such strips can really help to fill your hand. Souvenir bast shoes made of such material also look quite attractive.

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