Flax is one of the oldest fiber types to be spun into cloth, its origins dating to 10,000 BC and even earlier. The Egyptians wrapped the bodies of their deceased with linen fabric made from the flax fiber. In climates too cold for cotton growing, the flax plant can thrive on some pretty rugged growing conditions even with poor soil nutrients. While mostly thought of by modern Western cultures as a food product for its seed and oil, many are unaware that flax produces another useful product, a kind of fiber, long strands of bast fiber are hidden within its stem, which through a little bit of magic (chemistry) and a bit of work (spinning), can be transformed into linen cloth. It can be used by itself to create linen yarn or carded with any other wool for a textural effect for spinning and felting. The fiber will become softer with use. Today most flax is produced in Eastern Europe.
Environmentally, Flax is a good choice in textile fiber, as it provides a sustainable, chemical free source of lightweight summer clothing. Because of negative environmental and labor issues with growing and processing cotton, linen is quickly growing in popularity. When worn against skin, linen cloth wicks away sweat and reduces bacteria growth that can cause odor. It dries quickly and feels a lot cooler than cotton in hot weather. This is flax in its natural color; no bleaching or other harsh treatments have been used. Last couple pictures are of an Alternative Fiber Collection. I offer these in several varieties - silks, vegan, exotics and other mixes.
Spinning Flax: Flax fiber is best spun with low twist with light tension. For a smoother yarn, you may wet your fingers while spinning. The yarn can be used as a single ply or plied with itself or another fiber. The single ply also adds lovely and rustic texture when used as weft in handwoven fabrics. Flax fiber can also be used in needle felting, doll hair and paper making. In textiles, flax is most commonly used in undergarments, bed clothing and table linens.
Dyeing Flax: Flax fiber and yarns can be dyed with natural plant dyes and mordants or other dyes suitable for cellulose fibers.
Priced in 1, 2 and 4 oz portions. Choose your weight from drop down box at upper right.
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