I decided to use the old, dried leaves instead of the green ones. These have been “retted” (allowed to break down) by nature, and I hoped would be easier to transform into paper pulp.
After cutting or yanking out the old leaves, I put them in a bucket to soak overnight, just as I did with my daylily leaves.
The next day, I rinsed and drained them and cut them into 1 inch pieces with a serrated knife. The yucca leaves were a lot tougher than the daylily and the fibers were much more obvious. I can see how they have been a source of fiber for artists’ brushes.
Again, as with the daylily, I cooked the chopped fibers in soda ash at a rate of 1 T. per quart, for three hours. I brought the water and soda ash to a boil, added the leaves, returned to the boil, reduced heat to a simmer, and timed the three hours from that point.
After the fibers were cooked and cooled, I washed the yucca with several changes (at least 10) of water until the rinse water was clean(ish). (It looked like wet hair).
Next, I have my eye on the okra and asclepius tuberosa stalks and iris leaves.