flax/linen

Hemp, Cotton, Jute, Flax, Kenaf, Bamboo etc
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habitat-gardener
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flax/linen

#1

Post: # 8803Unread post habitat-gardener
Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:26 pm

Has anyone grown flax for fiber? My partner was reading a book about Norwegians emigrating to the U.S. and was interested in the notion that, though they were running out of clothing, they would be able to grow flax to replenish their wardrobes soon. From what little I've read, it sounds like a long, involved process to turn flax (fiber) seeds into cloth!

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brownrexx
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Location: Southeast PA, zone 6b

Re: flax/linen

#2

Post: # 8809Unread post brownrexx
Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:17 pm

In December we toured a local historic home from the the mid 1700 and the homeowner was a dyer meaning that he dyed cloth for people.

They showed us how cloth was made from flax and I thought that it was quite interesting. I had not actually thought about that before but the cloth looked like muslin or linen.You would never know that it came from plant fibers.

I am in PA and cotton was grown in the south so not convenient to get that to PA in the 1700's.

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Bower
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Location: Newfoundland, Canada

Re: flax/linen

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Post: # 8826Unread post Bower
Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:24 pm

I grew flax for the first time last year. Cut the stems for my friend N. who is a spinner and weaver and knows the process. Apparently they must first be dried, then they are soaked or "retted" (aka rotted?) until they separate into fibers. That can take a while, but eventually will be all done and spun into linen.
We have as much chance of growing cotton here as on the moon, probably! Hemp also is a southern fiber with slim chance of success here. But we need a fiber that isn't sheep's wool! I'm allergic to that! :P
AgCan Zone 5a/USDA zone 4
temperate marine climate
yearly precip 61 inches/1550 mm

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