Thursday, September 29, 2016

Flax for spinning

Learn something new everyday.

What do I know about Flax except it is a real pretty field when it is in bloom.

Bruce the weaver and spinning wheel fixer grew some Flax this summer.

Flax for spinning

Flax leaning against the garden fence where really tall sunflowers grew!

He harvested it recently. It is pulled out of the soil by the root and not cut.  Then it is bundled and set out to dry.  The seeds are removed and then the outer core is rotted which exposes the inner fiber…then the stalk is broken to remove the fiber.  Then it is combed to sort the long fibers from the short fibers. 

Here is some Flax fiber that was grown and processed a previous year.

Flax

Looks like a hairy mess

Flax on the bobbin

But eventually it is spun into a thread.  Those threads can be woven together to make linen. It can be fabric that is made into summer clothing, tablecloths, curtains and if it is very fine it can be used to knit or crochet.

This is the wheel he uses.  I guess I never thought about the whole process before…how about you?

Wheel that spins flax

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19 comments:

  1. Very interesting. Fascinating to see the flax stacked up against the fence.

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  2. That is so very interesting. Learned something new today. I am very impressed with the whole process. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I am a big fan of linen. I use it for all my embroidery techniques. Lovely to work with.

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  4. Great picture of flax. I eat it now and then but didn't know you could spin it. Learn something new every day. :-)

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  5. Fascinating I never knew this . Thanks for sharing , I like learning new things . Have a good weekend !

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  6. Thought about it. Tried it. Stickin' to wool! ☺️

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  7. Very interesting post. I'm sorta with you on the first line of your post...pretty field in bloom. I knew it was used for linen, but I gave up linen when I gave up ironing everything. Bruce the Weaver sounds like an interesting fellow. Did you get a photo of the combs he uses on the fibers? I have wool combs, but would love to see what his combs look like in comparison. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I did not get a photo but perhaps one of these days I will venture his way again:)

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  8. A lot of fibers (animal and plant) can be spun into yarn/thread. I don't have the skills to do but marvel at those who do.

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  9. I know that is what is used to make linen fabric. Linen is beautiful and cool but wrinkles so horribly easy - - same as cotton - - another plant-based fabric - - but they are great fabrics except for the wrinkles.

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  10. Sounds a laborious process! I wonder how they do it commercially? I have a spinning wheel and have spun my own sheep's fleeces into yarn, and made a sweater or two. I think I'll pass on the flax!

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  11. I never thought about but what you describe is interesting.

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  12. Ah, he uses a castle style spinning wheel. My mother-in-law had one.
    Where I grew up in Oregon's Willamette Valley, flax used to be a big commercial crop and there were several places nearby with long enclosed sheds for drying the flax. They were location markers - "you know, over by the flax plant".

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  13. I have never seen flax or its process but I have seen wool and all the steps they take, washing, carding, and some others I can't remember just to get it ready to spin. I would love to give it a go and I do have a hand spinner...that's not what they call it though. It is on "my list" for this YOP year. Are you going to spin when your wheel is fixed? Or is it fixed already? You go girl!

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  14. I like clothes made of natural fibres but I realize that the whole procedure is quite complicated, especially in the case of Linen.

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  15. very interesting! Thanks for sharing this! Learned something new!

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  16. I did not know this about flax. Very interesting!

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  17. Coincidentally have been reading a tale set in the UK before it was the UK, and flax fields were mentioned. Now I know what it looks like! And wow, it looks very time consuming to produce.

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  18. Flax is very interesting. I've spun it a couple times, just for curiosity at workshops. I'll stick to wool :-).

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie