The stalks were retted in water for 9 days, until the fibres were ready to slip off the inner core.
The base of the stalks are then broken, to release the fibre and by pulling down the length of the stalks the fibre is removed. It is then coiled in the traditional Japanese manner until all the fibre is removed.
It now needs to be washed, hung and dried.
One thing I've realised is that even 9ft plants are not tall enough. The hemp plant splits into many offshoots at the end, and this results in lots of fibre loss and waste to the extent that I'm not sure I'll get more than 5 bowstring length fibre bundles from over 50 plants.
The hemp needs to be over 9ft before they start thinning and splitting into shoots, ideally. Some species grown in certain conditions will achieve over 14ft in length, so this is what needs to be used.
One quick public service announcement - if anybody is thinking of doing this, be aware that the smell is pretty much unbearable. A large pool of rotting cannabis plants is bad enough, but it gets into your skin, on your clothes and does not come out!