Bramble needs some preparation before use. The thorns can be dealt with by using leather or a combination of leather and some rough material. Hold the tip in one hand and run your hand protected by the leather and rough material down the stem. Let the stems dry. Bramble will shrink considerably and much better results for baskets and stitching will be had by drying and then resoaking.Once the stems are dry it helps to run the stems through some sandpaper to remove more of the roughness.The stems can be split into many sections using a knife. This can be done several times to get down to a strip just a few millimetres thick for stitching coiled material like in the construction of ciosans. By Dawn Susan.
Resource and lower two photographs : Jonathan Ridgeon on www.bushcraft.ridgeonet.com/jonsbushcraft-blog.htm