Tag Archives: flax

this week’s shopping and harvest

some stuff we managed to acquire during  two car trips :)

a grindstone and two saws are for my husband, the rest is my new flax processing tools, basically everything i  needed for  breaking, scutching and then hackling flax. (Well, and some old heddles for weaving, a niddy-noddy, and two enameled funnels).

Some details:

some old half-processed flax was included in the kit

a comb for removing the seeds

these are two very fine combs, I didn’t even know such combs for flax fiber existed:

Meanwhile. this is today’s harvest, I have pulled it all

there is very good (and dounloadable for free) article  in the Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, sums up the whole process and shows pictures of all the steps, plus some tips on spinning.

gardening and some folk motifs

As usual at this time of the year I am all busy digging, sowing and re-planting (all the veg and flower plus the hedge)  not so much time for textile work.
But  some of my gardening  is actually fiber-related, like flax (six different sorts from the genebank)

and japanese indigo. Bought seeds from Wildcolors in UK, (£3.50 for 10 seeds),
nobody seems to grow  japanese indigo in Sweden…

well,  some peripheral knitting has been going on too – another random sock

nearly finished a cardigan for my man

and last Sunday when it stared to rain (finally, no need to water the garden !)  we went to Kulturen open-air museum to look (again) at some allmoge woodworking and textiles.

more pictures from Kulturen in my flickr


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).

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