Went to see demo on flax preparation (breaking, scutching and heckling) and  spinning the fibers, by nice ladies from the local flax society Skånelin . Never seen the process before, here they even let me try it for myself.  It’s all pretty straightforward (some physical strenth is definitely needed while breaking the plant straws)  and  the end result contains max 30% of the initial plant material.

they kindly gave me some fiber to try to spin at home, which i did:

It seemed not very difficult at all to spin flax. I don’t know if i spun it right, the fibers are much coarser than wool, so you have to keep wetting your fingers, and I did tried to spin it as “worsted” as I could, still my linen “yarn” came out very fluffy (though thin and very strong).

And now I am weaving a little piece of “cloth” on my primitive micro-loom

(a bookmark size cloth, very wabi-sabi object, hmm)

sadly,  in Sweden today flax growing  exists only in a form of cultural-historical activity, supported by few little enthusiasts-societies,  like Skånelin. Members grow flax in their own gardens, gather to rettle and process the fibers and travel across the country showing people the craft of making linen yarn. Next spring I might sow some flax seeds in our garden :)

P.S. 366 accessions of Linum usitatissimum in NordGen (Nordic genebank).

4 responses to “flax

  1. agujasblog July 7, 2012 at 4:08 am

    This was so interesting. What a great experience. Thanks for sharing.

  2. cathelinadialessandri July 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    What a great post! I’m glad to see the old ways being kept alive!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: