In my continued search for less labor-intensive methods of processing yucca fiber, I've been testing out retting methods, rotting the leaves in a controlled way to make extracting the fibers easier. Both these bundles of yucca have been retting underwater for two weeks, one in an irrigation ditch and one in a bucket in my yard. Interesting to compare the two...the leaves left in the ditch (right side in the first pic) bio-degraded more quickly and thoroughly than the batch in the bucket. I also tried some different methods of scraping off the soft, sludgy cortex; stone and antler blades both worked OK, but in the end the quickest method turned out to be pulling hanks of fiber through the pointy ends of a snapped-off branch on a dead tree. It only took two hours to process up the whole bundle, faster than I expected. The major downside of the retting process is that all the yucca smelled pretty foul . The batch from the ditch smelled a bit more natural, though, with sort of a beach overtone that made it more tolerable. The bucket batch was truly gross, lol...I left it in the ditch to finish retting for a few more days. After I finish air drying and combing the fibers out I'll leave them outside for a few more days, hopefully the smell will dissipate. A herd of cows showed up to watch me work, lol...they approached pretty close, stayed for about 20 mins, then got bored and wandered off.