Homemade Brooms

Homemade brooms were made for both inside and outside use. 

Farm life taught me that items could be made instead of being bought.

Store bought items were considered a luxury in some families. 

Brooms to be used outside to sweep the yard close to the house were called yard brooms. 

Brooms used inside the house were called straw brooms if homemade and stick brooms if store bought with a wooden handle. 

Yard Brooms

Gallberry bush branches were gathered to make yard brooms. A double handful was the desired amount to be cut usually in approximately 48" lengths. The branches were run back and forth over a wire fence to remove the leaves. They were left in the sun to dry for 2 to 3 days. Next they were bundled tightly together and tied. This was repeated several times about 2" apart to make sure the branches would not come apart. 

Another method to secure the branches:

Sometimes the branches were first tied together and then the twine was tightly wound around the branches for 10 inches and tied again before cutting the twine.

House Brooms

When the house broom started to wear out, a trip to the fields was needed to collect broom sage to make a new broom. Broom sage is a long thick light brown colored type of straw. 

Broom sage that was 36" in length or longer was collected. A double handful was a good amount to make a broom. The fodder or weaker parts had to be removed by shaving with a sharp knife. Hold the broom sage at the cut end and shave down removing the fodder. Then, one person would hold the broom sage tightly bunched together. Another person would wrap a strong twine around the bundle several times, usually about 2 inches from the top end, and tie it as tightly as possible. If it was not tight enough then the individual pieces would fall out and it would fall apart when it was being used. Twine was tied around the bundle about 2 inches apart two or three more times to help stabilize the straw. The top was trimmed evenly across so no pieces stuck up higher than the others. The bottom was trimmed only enough to remove any weak or long pieces so they would not break off while sweeping. 

Another method to secure the straw:

Sometimes the straw was first tied together and then the twine was tightly wound around the straw for 10 inches and tied again before cutting the twine.

I was never personally involved in the making of the homemade brooms, but got to use them often.

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