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Video: Spinning Flax Fibers into Linens

  Linen fabric is made of linen threads. Linen threads are spun of flax fibers. Linen is a natural product and rates as the most sturdy and most environment-friendly of all fibers. However, not all linens are created equally. In this article I will discuss the differences in linens so that you can choose the best material for your precious embroidery. Linen is much more stable than cotton or blended fabric. Hence, always pure linen should be preferred. Granted, linen is easily creased, but if starched and ironed—from slightly damp until dry —the embroidery and linen develop their true gorgeous elegance; a delicate shine and beauty emerges from the use of a premium material. (Tip: Never spin and never tumble...

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Flax Linen Symposium in the USA

The New England Flax and Linen Symposium put on a couple of days where experts from around the world gathered in  Deerfield, Massachusetts for sessions and demoes covering all aspects of flax.  The areas covered included plant and environmental science, education, history, and craft. Participants included a professor of plant physiology and lacemaker; professional and amateur weavers, spinners, and dyers; a community agriculturist. Leading the way, organizer & fiber artist Michelle Parrish of Amherst, Massachusetts has already explored various aspects of flax growing and processing, including an extensive field test of more than 30 types of flax at her own community garden.  This trend could continue in gardens throughout America, reviving an age old tradition which seems to have been replaced with less...

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The Stalk of Flax (An Italian Folktale)

Once upon a time, a beautiful child was born to a wealthy merchant and his wife. Soon after Thalia was born, her mother died, and so the baby became the pride and joy of the merchant. He called all the village elders to come and bless his child. But when they did, one of the elders who looked at the child inside her crib turned pale. "Trouble awaits her from a stalk of flax," he said. So the merchant forbade any flax inside their estate, and he ordered his servants to watch carefully over his beloved daughter. Once, after Thalia had turned 21, she was standing at her bedroom window when she spotted a woman across the estate spinning yarn,...

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Flax Linens Journey: From the Field to the Mill in Lithuania

    A flax field near Panevezys, Lithuania. Such beautiful light with the grey clouds and sun breaking through. To get the full experience, you can watch our video of the fields blowing in the wind. Above is a close-up of the flax plant, in bloom with its delicate waxy blue flowers, and a botanical print detailing the various parts. The stalk of the plant is retted and turned into linen fiber, as you will see. The pods produce the flax seeds, which are full of nutrients, or can be used to replant. Dew-retting breaks down the stalks and loosens the fibers, a process which is still done in the fields, with little added water and no chemicals. Then the plant is...

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8 Step Process of Turning Flax Plant into a Natural Fiber

Flax has been with humankind long before Europeans' discovery of the Western Hemisphere. Linum angostifolium, the wild ancestor of flax, can be found from the Black Sea to the Canary Islands. Linus usitatissimum (meaning "of greatest use"), is the oldest cultivated fiber plant, with evidence of its growth and use dating back to the fifth millennium BC in both Mesopotamia and Egypt.   Linum angostifolium - the wild ancestor of modern flax Linus usitatissimum is believed by many historians to have been introduced into England by the Romans; by the 16th century, laws were enacted requiring that a quarter of an acre (one rood) of flax be planted for every sixty acres under cultivation.  Flax has many advantages as a fiber crop, its...

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