Baling Twine: A Twine of the Times


Besides the basics of food, water and shelter, what do you need in order to survive? If you’re a Westerner, the odds are good that baling twine was one of the first things to pop into your head. Ah, yes, what other people might see as mundane twine, Westerners see as the greatest thing since sliced bread. And, by the way, I’m pretty sure I could slice bread with nothing more than a length of baling twine!

What’s My Twine?

Baling Twine in HayFor the uninitiated, baling twine is exactly what it sounds like. It’s twine used to bind hay into bales. It comes in sisal or synthetic varieties. Whichever kind you can get your hands on, it is darn handy stuff! It’s more versatile than duct tape, more compact than a rope and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Okay, I’m exaggerating about the tall buildings part, but it is some impressive stuff. I’m pretty convinced that every home should come equipped with a glass case containing baling twine hanging in a prominent location, with a sign that says, “In case of emergency, break glass.”

Packaged Twine

Pardon me if this sounds like an infomercial for baling twine, but I truly do believe it is the twine of intelligent life! Read on for some baling twine uses you may not have considered!

Because You’re Twine…

Baling TwineBaling twine is great for repairs to fences and gates. It’s also a natural choice for securing things in windstorms. If you drive a pickup truck, baling twine can be used to keep the items in your truck bed in your truck bed instead of on the side of the road! You can use a length of twine to secure feed buckets to the barn wall and tie down just about anything that needs tying. It’s versatile stuff, I tell ya!

Baling Twine

Twine Country

HorseDo you have horses? If so, you probably already know of the many wonders of baling twine. It can serve as a temporary blanket strap when the binging breaks. It can serve as a temporary halter or lead rope, making it possible to lead a horse to water or anywhere else!





Baling twine can be used to make a hay net, too.

Twine Hay Net

Even if you don’t have a horse, baling twine makes a great emergency leash for a dog. If you’re really bored, you can practice your dog lassoing with twine. Um, on second thought… Maybe you should stick with the leash idea.

Bee String

Baling TwineUntreated, sisal, baling twine is used in bee smokers. See, it really is a honey of a product! It is known for providing a cool and long lasting smoke for your little bees. Smoooooth!

Twine Tasting

Twine with tomato plantsDo you have some garden vegetables with bad posture? Baling twine has rescued many droopy tomato and pole bean plants. Use it to tie up your climbing garden vegetables.

Tie One On

Ellie Mae Clampett Broken shoelace? No problem! You can lace up your shoe with baling twine. It’s such a versatile fashion accessory that you can even use it to hold up your britches! Ellie Mae Clampett would be proud!

 Stitch in Twine

Twine CraftsCrafters love baling twine. It can be used in some pretty unexpected ways. Howzabout knitting or crocheting a baling twine rug or doormat?



And, do you remember macramé? You can macramé plant hangers with good ol’ baling twine. Peace and love, man! Baling twine can even be used to weave the baskets to put in the plant hangers. Baling Twine with plants

People swear by baling twine scouring pads. They don’t have to be pretty. Simply break out your old summer camp crafting skills and weave us some pot scrubbers!

Brother, Can You Spare a Twine?

Folks on farms and ranches have been reusing and recycling long before it was the politically correct thing to do. Why? It probably comes down to a mixture of necessity and common sense—horse sense, if you will! When you live in the boonies, you tend to become resourceful in order to avoid a “trip into town”. You learn to use what you have. It’s like the old saying from The Great Depression, “Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without.”

Baling twine is practically a natural resource in the West! What are your favorite uses? It’s always good to hear from folks who are fluent in twine language!

Happy Trails, y’all!

Anita Lequoia

8 Replies to “Baling Twine: A Twine of the Times”

  1. Love the many ways to put to use things we have on hand. I’ve made book bags, shoe cabby, leashes, lead ropes on an on. Living 90 miles from town on a gaming ranch..The only child left at home. Only girl of 9 kids you have a lot of time on your hands. Love that we had tons of twine around. Lots of animals to make things for. Scraps and bits of things and a great grandmother who loved crafts.

  2. Hey, that’s my twine doormat! I still use it, many years after snapping that photo. Knit in garter stitch on big (US #15 I think) needles. What a thrill to stumble upon it here!

    1. Oh my gosh, what a coincidence that you saw this blog post! I found the photo somewhere on the internet, and thought that it was a really fantastic use of the material. Five stars for creativity, Katie! 🙂

  3. I have sheep and therefore lots of twine. When my oldest son was about 13 or 14 he collected the twine and made a punching bag. I’m not sure how he did it but the inside was twine the outside was duct tape. This thing was the size of a two year old. He hung it in the loft of the barn. (with a rope made from twine) He’s now 35 years old and I think a few years ago he finally took it down and took it to his house. I wouldn’t be surprised if its not hanging in his garage.

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