As I was practicing making cords with my polymer clay lucet, It occurred to me that some clayers might not be aware that many – possibly most – types of fibers can be baked into polymer. Just about anything that’s all natural will work: animal fibers such as wool, and plant fibers like cotton and linen. I have baked some types of nylon cord with polymer clay and found no change to the color or strength of the cord: my experiments were with C-Lon (a cord used in beading and crochet) and Fireline (a fine, braided fishing line used in bead work).
So, you can bake a fiber cord right into your clay! Crochet, knit, finger-weave or lucet one and give it a try.
The rule of thumb for inclusions is they must have a burning/melting point higher than 275 degrees F. So that means anything made out of paper or wood –thank you, Ray Bradbury, for Fahrenheit 451 — and most everything else from the natural world is good to bake. I have seen feathers, leaves, insects (dead), seeds, spices, herbs, and flowers successfully incorporated into clay.(Note that plant materials will work best if dried first.) Now that spring is almost here, keep an eye outside for your next clay inclusions.