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 Fiber Sources and Discussion
 Weird flax
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robinstephanie
Permanent Resident

USA
1236 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2013 :  2:52:28 PM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A year or so ago I bought a bump of flax at the Estes Park Wool Market. After a recent flax spinning clinic at my spinning guild, today I sat down to give it a try on the wheel. The flax from my guild was long and golden, each fiber 2-3 feet long, which I thought was the correct preparation for flax. The flax I bought at the wool market contained fibers 1-2 inches long.

Experienced spinners, what is up with the short flax fibers? Is this a special kind of preparation? Or are these the floor sweepings of flax fibers? Something else?

Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover

Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1741 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2013 :  8:14:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I spin, but have never spun flax. Do you have any manufactured flax yarn? It might be worthwhile to cut a two-yard length and then take it apart to see how long the fibers are.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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Shelia
Permanent Resident

USA
2357 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2013 :  10:09:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The guild flax is line, sometimes called long line, flax. It is what traditionally the best linen is spun and woven from. You purchased tow, which is one of the by-products of line preparation. It's usually the broken flax from the ends of the stalks and the other shorter bits. This is some of what in the old days went into the linsey-woolsey blend that was a rather rough cloth.

There is a significant difference in price between the two preps.

Shelia
www.breezyridgestudio.com
ravelry name - sheliaknits
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robinstephanie
Permanent Resident

USA
1236 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2013 :  07:46:23 AM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A ha! I thought you might have an answer, Shelia. This bag of linen was about two bucks an ounce, I think--pretty cheap. It's actually fine for what I'm using it for, and actually really easy to spin compared to the line flax I had from my guild.

Thanks for your help, Shelia I didn't mind the tow this time, but I should know what I'm buying.

Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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