Cigarette Butt Cordage

Cigarette Butt CordageThis pursuit might be more associated with prisoner craft but the fibers contained within a cigarette butt can be transformed into actual cordage. Is this practical? I would imagine that only in extreme circumstances would anyone undertake this task (or is extremely bored). However, I wanted to find out for myself what it would take to make a cord.

The first requirement is to gather the material. If you are a germophobe you might try looking into buying filters from a tobacco store otherwise there is an abundance of pre-used cigarette butts found just about anywhere. You could actually wash them if you want.

You will need to remove the paper covering to expose the fibrous filter. I found that by barely scratching or pinching the side of the filter that I could pull off fluffy bits of fiber that blends well for spinning. This is a tedious task. I found that the used filter held together better than the unused filters, probably because of the presence of tar from the smoke.

There are different techniques for making cordage. To begin I roll a row of fluffy fiber with the palm of my hand over the top of my thigh until it is a tight strand. Then I fold that in half and roll it again while bearing down on the folded side. this entwines the two strands into a cord. The ends are left “fuzzy” so that more fiber can be added to increase it’s length. The more even you roll the strands the stronger and dependable it is.

This is definitly not heavy duty cordage but it could be used for simple binding which is just what might be needed in a pinch. I wouldn’t call this practical but for me it was a “proof of concept” and a fun experiment to try.

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