Fiber Fun Month ~ Flax [Linen]

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Flax comes from the stalk of the flax plant and once it is spun into yarn it is known as linen. It is a amazing fiber, it softens with age and is strong and lovely.
Flax has really short roots and is harvested by pulling it up out of the ground instead of cutting it off. The stalks are stored in bundles and set aside to dry.
Then they go through a process called rippling, which removes the seeds. The next process it goes though is called Retting, which rots the outer core of the stalk and exposes the inner fibers. It can be done in different ways but water retting is one of the most common.
The next steps are breaking and scutching, which breaks the stalk and removes the fiber from it.
And the last process flax needs to go through before hand spinning is hackling, which is a combing process. This is how the short fibers called tow, and the long fibers called stricks, are separated.
The traditional way of spinning flax stricks is to use a distaff, but you do not have to use one. Flax should to be spun with little twist and light tension. And you should have a little bowl or something with water in it so you can wet the fiber with your fingers as you spin to get a smooth yarn. Or if you want a hairy textured yarn you can do it with no water.

No comments :

Post a Comment