Gardens & Plants

Real Garden Twine, String and Raffia

We are proud to be part of the string Stephen Spurdon

September 9, 2020
“Everybody knows about fire and the wheel, but string is one of the most powerful tools and really the most overlooked. It’s relatively invisible until you start looking for it. Then you see it everywhere.”

Saskia Wolsak, University of British Columbia.


The String Revolution

Natural fibres twisted into yarn, yarn into strands and strands into string or rope turns relatively fragile materials into something remarkable for its strength, flexibility and utility. Twine and rope have been incredibly powerful in the development of human culture - ‘the string revolution’ - binding the timbers of the earliest seagoing rafts, sewing together materials, enabling people to sail, fish, fight and play music.

Natural fibres biodegrade so it is rare for archaeologists to find string more than a few thousand years old - a 40,000-year-old carved bone tool for string and rope making has been discovered in Germany and there is other evidence pre-dating that. String must be one of the products of human imagination and skill with the longest history of continuous manufacture.

At Ellicar, we are proud to support a business that continues the tradition of making twine from natural materials. Nutscene began making twine in Scotland in 1922 and continue to do so using traditional methods on the original machinery. They pride themselves on employing local people and on using ethically sourced materials from sustainable crops - principally jute. Their original green twist garden twine, when used to tie up plants, was effectively invisible - ‘not seen’ - from which the name ‘Nutscene’ was derived.

Well, that’s the story….

No sweatshops, no polypropylene, biodegradable, vegan, made in the UK. Proper string.

We stock a range of their raffia, everyday garden twine, more decorative twine in a range of colours including candy twist and, of course, the ‘tin of twine’ designed to leave both hands free.

We use Nutscene twine to tie in plants, to lash bean poles, to bind bunches of flowers and herbs, to secure parcels, in craftwork and in any number of temporary and not so temporary repairs.

Enter our string competition

Tell us about your most innovative, unusual or entertaining use for twine - by email, Twitter or Facebook. Do include a photo if you can. Our favourite idea will win a voucher for two adults' entry to the garden and a spool of Nutscene twine. Last day for entries is 30th September 2020.

Email entries to