Making use of plant fibres in these Phormium leaves to tie them selves in bundles. These sword like leaves have great ammount of uses in traditional culture of the New Zealand Maori . Therefore it makes sense to make use of these qualities in our own gardens. The plant fibres of the cookianum species are finer and softer and are used for clothing worn next to the skin. Fibres from the tenax species are longer and stronger and used primarily for rope and fastenings. Fibres from New Zealand flax were used for rope in the docks of Plymouth and Portsmouth. They were used until synthetic fibres took over in the early 20th century.