Anyone growing Flax for spinning linen : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My wife is growing flax for spinning and weaving into linen, do any of the readers do this and if you do do you have any different kinds of flax seed, we could buy. Also need infro on brakes and other equipment Thanks in advance David

-- David (, July 02, 2001


I had wanted to try this myself and bought some flax seed this winter but I haven't planted it (great intentions, just not enough time. LOL) I would be happy to send some of the seed to you if you will e- mail me your mailing address. I bought five pounds of it so I have plenty to give you. I would rather split it with you then waste it since I'm not sure how many years the seed remains viable. I will have to check the package to see what it says about the type of flax. I think making linen from flax would be very interesting although my current spinning teacher has done it and says it is a lot of work to make because there are so many steps involved with making it. She told me all of the steps to go through so I have a pretty good picture although that hasn't deterred me either as I still intend to give it a try. Good luck to your wife with the endeavor.

-- Colleen (, July 03, 2001.

Hi David.

Have You tried locating living history demonstrations near You? They often have someone knowledgeable about linen weaving, if they don't actually do it.

If You can give an idea of Your general area, I can probably make some suggestions of events.

Good Luck!


-- Randle Gay (, July 03, 2001.

Colleen, what is the source of your seed? I grew some from plain old health food seed when we lived in Arkansas but didn't have the proper tools to process it. Since then, I have collected a break, several hetchels of various coarseness, and 2 wheels set up for spinning flax. This stuff is all wonderful usable antiques! I got one hetchel in a box of junk for $2! I need to get myself out to the shop and carve a scutching knife on the shaving horse.

Last year I took a 2 day class at the sheep festival at Bethel MO under John and Carolyn Stewart. They grow, process, spin and weave flax on their farm near Hannibal MO and are very knowledgable, effective teachers. The class will be offered again at the sheep festival over Labor Day weekend if you are near enough to participate. Feel free to email me privately for contact people, etc., David. Oh, as part of the class, we got to keep the seed we rippled from the flax straw but I didn't get mine planted early enough. It likes cool weather and is ready to pull and "age" in about 100 days.

I also have 3 bathtubs (thought we were bidding on ONE at a home center liquidation and got 4 for one money) for the retting part. It is the most critical as you must ret to just the proper point. Too little and yield is reduced. Too much and your fiber is weakened.

I have some books if anyone is interested in the titles, authors and ISBN.

-- marilyn (, July 03, 2001.

Johnny's has seeds for flax. You can pick a heavy seed producer (for eating) or a variety that's best for linen.

-- Paul Wheaton (, July 05, 2001.

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