From the widespreading roots string and ropes are manufactured in Lapland and Bothnia: the longer ones which run near the surface are selected, split through, and then boiled for some hours in a ley of wood-ashes and salt, which, dissolving out the resin, loosens the fibres and renders them easily separable, and ready for twisting into cordage.
To the web is attached a trap-line which when drawn taut holds the snare stretched and tight, and when relaxed loosens the whole structure so that the threads fall together.
When an insect strikes the web the spider loosens his hold of the trap-line, thus enveloping the victim in a tangle of threads which would otherwise not come into contact with it.
When the waste contains any large percentage of worm or chrysalis, it is taken to a " cocoon beater," a machine which has a large revolving disk on which the silk is put, and while revolving slowly is beaten by a leather whip or flail, which loosens the silk and knocks out the wormy matter.
The widow then loosens and removes the shoe, throwing it some distance, and spits on the ground, repeating thrice the Biblical formula "So shall it be done," &c. Ilalisah, which is still common among orthodox Jews, must not take place on the Sabbath, a holiday, or the eve of either, or in the evening.
It is prepared by boiling the needles in a solution of soda to remove the resin, which process loosens the fibre and renders its separation easy; it has some resemblance to coarse wool, and is spun and woven into blankets and garments that are said to be warm and durable; it is also used for stuffing cushions; an essential oil, obtained by a previous distillation of the leaves, has medicinal virtues attributed to it by some German practitioners.