July 6, 2012
Posted by on
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).