Cindy Conner is the author of Seed Libraries and Grow a Sustainable Diet and has produced DVDs about garden planning and managing cover crops with hand tools. Harvest seeds by uprooting the entire plant. SCUTCHING FLAX. When this flax fibre is spun, and woven into cloth, the cloth is called linen. Linen is the name for flax fiber once it is made into thread. Start seeds indoors 6 … Technical details about flax growing. Flax for spinning is available as a flax strick, also known as line flax, and as flax roving. The flax straw will have to be retted, which is soaking it in water or, my favorite, laying it in the grass and letting the dew take care of it. Pre-Fabricated, Gambrel Roof A-Frame Plan, The Backyard Homestead Book Of Kitchen Know-How, Natural Cold Storage: Fresh Food in Winter, Keeping Crops Cool During Hot Weather: 13 Ways to Beat the Heat, Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price. Flax wants to get its start in the cool weather and will be ready to harvest in about 90-100 days. 8. Seed should be planted 1/2 to 1 inch deep, or up to 1 1/2 inches on coarser soils (such as sandy loams). It sounds daunting, but once you understand it and have worked a bit with it, it is not so intimidating. We can make the necessary tools ourselves and, once again, wear clothes that have come from our own land and our own hands. The harvest season begins about one month after the flax begins blooming. … You will spin flax fibers to produce linen thread or yarn, to be woven or knitted into linen garments. In fact, a quarter acre per person might have been planted to take care of clothing and other textile needs for the year. It is primarily grown for its seeds and also for its fiber. Estimating the right time for harvesting is essential for the quality of the yield. Although there are many steps in the journey to linen, other than harvesting at the right time, those steps can be done at your leisure. The cellulose fiber from the stem is spinnable and is used in the production of linen thread, cordage, and twine. Most flax will mature in 90 to 120 days. don't have an online Understand spinning linen, the easy way with this helpful, step by step guide. Thresh the plants in bundles by beating the stalks until all the seed pods have been crushed and then shake the seeds out. Records show the use of flax as a textile in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) during the Neolithic period (from 10,000 B.C. The process of collecting fiber from the plant is near similar to jute fiber. A standard grain drill can be used with flax, planting it in narrow rows (preferably 6 inches or less). USDA Zones— 4 – 10. Linen seeds are very fertile, and grow very well, in the moist cool climates of Northern and Middle Europe. It is widely used in the textile industry to make popular linen clothes. Flax seeds are cultivated in a fertile, well-defined, and well prepared soil with a cool and humid condition. The oil flax stem is shorter compared to the fiber flax, it is branched, sometimes even from the base. By using traditional hand methods, it's quite possible to plant, raise, harvest, and process small quantities of flax for spinning. From linen thread or yarn, fine toweling a… Already a Member? Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST). 7. Whether you plant the seeds in rows or broadcast them, the seeds need to be close together so the stalks will grow straight with no branching. The fading of the colors by the sun is a key indicator for the farmer. A rolling pin, a plastic comb and a dog comb is all you need to process small amounts of fibre. Your email address will not be published. Flax is the plant that produces the fibers that are spun into linen thread and then woven into linen cloth. If you want to have enough to really play with, plant a pound of seeds. You will need to plant it in a sunny spot and provide an even distribution of moisture throughout its growing season if you do not have regular rainfall. After sowing, growing, pulling and retting, it is time to harvest the flax.After each turning of the flax, the farmer estimates when the flax will be ready for harvesting. In order to retrieve the fibers from the plant, the woody stem and the inner pith (called pectin), which holds the fibers together in a clump, must be rotted away. It is hard to believe that what you harvest in the summer, something that looks less vibrant than the straw that results from growing wheat and rye, can produce fiber that can be made into fabric. Welcome to the Growing Flax area of the Flax Council Website. A single planting in early spring provides an abundance of flax flowers in late spring and summer, but re-seeding by this plant assures a continued mass of growing flax in the meadow or natural area. Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today. As flax does better with manure than chemical fertilizers, it is ideally suited to organic style of growing. Sign in with your online account. You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues. If you are just starting out and don’t know if you really want to get into this yet, you can get enough material to work with from just a small space in your garden. Already a Member but The process for turning Flax into Flax cloth is a little daunting, but certainly not insurmountable with a little knowledge. Difficulty— Easy. The Landis Valley Farm Museum has a wonderful display in their textile barn. 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