We took over the canteen at the London College of Fashion on Saturday and found the quality of the flax (or it could have been the retting or drying) was much better than last time.  .

This invaluable piece of machinery breaks the hard stems to extract the soft fibres.  Everyone had a go.
This invaluable piece of machinery breaks the hard stems to extract the soft fibres. Everyone had a go.
Heckling and spinning
Scutching

L1010979

Christine showing Jan how to spin with a spindle.
Christine showing Jan how to spin with a spindle.
Combing the fibres to remove the shives and to make sure all the strands are running in the same direction to make spinning easier.
Combing the fibres to remove the shives and to make sure all the strands are running in the same direction to make spinning easier.
Rod tried to repair the wheel to no avail.
Rod tried to repair the wheel to no avail.
The shives are the broken bits of the inside core of the stalk - what gives the stem rigidity.  They can be used in building products - or simply as a mulch.
The shives are the broken bits of the inside core of the stalk – what gives the stem rigidity. They can be used in building products – or simply as a mulch.
We produced a lot of tow, short fibres, which can also be spun.
We produced a lot of tow, short fibres, which can also be spun.
Spun linen thread - rough but beautiful.
Spun linen thread – rough but beautiful.
Spun and unspun flax
Spun and unspun flax
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