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As attending a workshop in person is not possible this year, we have created some simple willow weaving kits for you to try at home. All the packs are suitable for beginners and include all the willow you will need, instructions and decorating materials.
'A guide for what to buy'
Willow needs to be soaked to become pliable and each variety of willow requires a different amount of soaking time.
Our Mini Christmas Rings and Candle Holder are made with buff willow. This requires 60 - 90 minutes in water and so is ideal to put in the bath. Buff willow is a bit trickier to use and can split if oversoaked or under-soaked. However, don't worry as we will supply some extra just in case this happens.
Our Willow Christmas Tree Decorations are made using Black Maul willow. This is the easiest willow to use, ideal for beginners and is what I always use in schools with children. The Black Maul willow supplied in this kit will need three or four days submerged in water. You can blow up your paddling pool and soak it in the garden or in the bath. It won't matter if you take it out for an hour or two on a night, as long as you put it back in water.
Our Willow Wreaths measure about 30cm in diameter and come with artificial foliage, so you can put your wreath up on the 1st December and nearer to Christmas you can replace it with your own cuttings of fresh holly and berries. Our willow wreaths are made using white or buff willow and only need a couple of hours soaking time.
White Willow is willow where the bark has been stripped off. This takes months of work; the willow is harvested in winter and then sits in water until May, when the bark is stripped from it. I only have a small amount left from this year, once it's gone, it's gone!