Saturday, July 20, 2013

Linen cloth from my own, home grown and processed linen!

Here it is folks!

The first Vancouver DTES linen in recorded history! Looks a little hairy and string like, but I was braking in my fingers and finished the hackling by using carders, so there's shive still attached in places and the fibres were jumbled together from the carding. Proper line flax is only hackled and is much smoother like this stuff from Victoria Flax 2 Linen.

Here's how I did it....

I broke the flax by twisting the stems over my finger. Then I used the scutching knife made by Martin Borden to get rid of the broken bits of dried pith (shive). This was pretty hard to do, so I can see why the scutching flail was invented!

Then I hackled the flax stems through a coarse hackle. This is also hard work, especially to avoid hackling your fingers. I separated out about 3 flax stems once I could see the linen fibres starting to appear. It wasn't good quality because of the amount of shive still attached to the stems.

Here's what it looked like

I carded it using some dog/cat fur combs because there was so little of it.

Spun it wet using a lightweight spindle and skeined it on a tiny niddy noddy and waited for it to dry. Wound it into a ball, wetted it again and wove it.

And here it is on my home made pin loom. When it's dry I'll take it off.

Interestingly, it is a mix of the golden colour you get from water retted linen and the grey from 'dew' retted.

This week we will be trying out the almost completed flax brake and processing more flax at the field house. Exciting times!


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