Flax to linen

Discussion in 'Gardening and Agriculture' started by *Andi, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Not a fruit or vegetable ... but something to grow ... :sssh:

    So I did it ... I ordered some flax seed ( hope it goes better than the cotton ;))

    I want to try my hands at flax linen ... (I must put the books down :D) lol

    Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum. Linen is labor-intensive to manufacture... I'm not getting any younger, so if I'm going try it ... why not now ...

    So this what I'm doing "new" this year ... wish me luck.:flower:
     
  2. SurvivalBill

    SurvivalBill Member

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    I experimented with it last year flax is very easy to grow it did not grow as tall as I expected it to but I am pretty far north anyways I wanted to test it out for making cordage I have to say its some real strong stuff just a few fibers is all you need for thread I just left some in seed were it was just want to see if it will come back again this year...
    I think it is well worth growing for thread and then into linen but you sure have to plant lots to make anything with it though if you are doing this from scratch I am just guessing but an acre may just be enough to make a shirt I think....
    Good Luck With the Project let us know how it turns out...

    Bill
     

  3. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Thanks for posting ... It is great hearing how you flax project is going. :D

    I only ordered 4 grams of seeds ... so I will start out small and go from there. Kind of get my feet wet. :D

    Thanks again, I will let you know how it works out.
     
  4. SurvivalBill

    SurvivalBill Member

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    I just went to the bulk bin and got a few handfulls...
     
  5. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Not the sea of blue they talk about in the book but my small row of flax is starting to bloom. :woohoo:
     

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  6. shellyann36

    shellyann36 Member

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    Very pretty flower! I read and responded to your cotton growing thread and this seems just as interesting! In the past, when I think of fiber for spinning/producing clothing I always think of animal fibers or pelts. This sort of puts it into a different perspective about what you can do outside of using animal materials. Thanks!
     
  7. stayingthegame

    stayingthegame Well-Known Member

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    spinning

    I met a lady around my parts that spins dog hair into hats and scarves. Seems to have a lot of orders. She will take your dog's fur spin and crochet or knit it. Strange.:scratch
     
  8. weedygarden

    weedygarden Well-Known Member

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    your soil

    Your soil seems to be fairly red. Do you have a lot of clay?
     
  9. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Virginia and red clay go hand in hand. ;) You should have seen it before we started composting and cover crops. lol

    stayingthegame, that does sound strange ... but I know a few people that do it ... :dunno:
     
  10. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Pulled the flax today ... the bottom was turning and the seed heads was more brown than gold ... (per the book... lol)

    It is now in the green house to dry ... so I can save the seeds. :2thumb:
     

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  11. lhalfcent

    lhalfcent Supporting Member

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    are you my long lost sister i never knew about??? :eek: you post stuff that I think about all the time! lol lol I need to put the books down too...i want to try everything!!! lol :rolleyes:
    so glad you posted this about flax to linen cuz i been hankering to try this one too. :p
     
  12. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    The same seed that I grind-up to put into foods from Safeway will grow the plants?!?! I had thought that the seeds are radiated (microwaved) to kill off any bugs that might be in them - also killing the germation ability of the plants ...

    I think that I have a project for next summer!
     
  13. SurvivalBill

    SurvivalBill Member

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    ya it grew no problem I usually have no problems with seed I get from the bulk bins....
     
  14. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Really good to know - thanks!
     
  15. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Rippling the flax

    Rippling removes the seeds from the stems. The dry plants are pulled through a rippling comb that is a wooden or iron device that has several rows of nails sticking up. Well, I was short some ol time tools and had to come up with something new... A horse mane and tail comb worked "alright".
     

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  16. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    A nice bucket of seeds to be cleaned and stored for next year.
     

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  17. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    Ready for Retting

    I'm going with water retting, in a kiddie pool. I'm ready to fill with water.
     

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  18. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    lhalfcent - I always wanted a sister ... :D

    Flax Retting will check every 24 hours ... and should be retted in 3 - 5 days.
     

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  19. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

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    The retting is done ... When I checked it today the fiber separated freely from the core.

    And they should call it rotting the flax ... can you say gross, nasty and yucky smell. :eek: I put it there with priming green tobacco ... yuck!

    But it is done, back to the green house for a week to dry ...
     
  20. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    Can't wait to see how it ends up! The soaking you're doing reminds me of how my boss used to "rot" the luffa gourds to make the luffa sponges.