Duluth Fiber Handcrafter’s Guild Flax Project

The Duluth Fiber Handcrafter’s Guild gave me Flax seeds and I grew a 9 x 10 foot plot of flax in our garden this summer.  Some photos and explanations of what I have done so far follow.

End product this fall: white, hairlike fibers pop out under bark when I bend stems!
Flax is up by mid-June after a good rain
July 25, 2018
Mid-late August, 2018
Mature seedheads are brown, flowers blue, Mid-September, 2018
Pull the entire plant to harvest it
By October 24, after turning it once a week, dew retting is progressing well, especially on the thinner stems. We have damp weather coming so I will leave it another week or so.

There is still a lot of processing work to do–such as breaking,  scrutching,  hackling, and softening, before I can tie the flax fiber I grew, put it on a distaff, and spin it.  I will need some help and guidance from a DFHC guild member, but, meanwhile, next week I can stand bunches of the dew-retted stems in the barn for the winter and they will keep fine until we are ready to finish retting them and separate the fibers from stems and bark and refine the fibers for spinning in the spring.  Wish us luck!

My superfine ValKyrie mini combs serve as trial hackles as I play with separating fibers in the flax I grew. Thanks to Louise Young for explaining the basics we will do next spring after stems are fully retted.

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