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ancientflaxman
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My family is from Europe. I have access to long line flax fiber in stricks. I buy them by the bale and sell them wholesale to the public in the USA. It is about half the price of retail. I wish to promote the art of flax spinning as it has all but died out in this country. I am a spinner, my Grandmother was, her mom, and her mom's mom also. I loved spinning flax in the past but the prices were so high it took the fun out of spinning it. I hope that I can help change that. If interested please email; hatchery@arvig.net or call me at 218-738-2222 or just stop in to my little studio in central Minnesota and say hi!! Dave- the ancientflaxman- blessed be

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Hi Dave,

You're right - flax spinning isn't very popular Stateside these days. I don't know why this is so but suspect that this may be, at least in part, due to the fact that flax fibers are seldom seen in shops or at shows.

Two questions:
1. Do you have a web site?
2. Can you please tell us the country of origin of your flax?

And a bonus question: would you be a source or know of a source for little water pots that can be hung on a wheel?



Llyn - Spinning Editor
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Hi Llyn!! I hope that I am posting this on the right place!!! My flax originally came from Ireland but since the Northern Ireland trouble I now obtain it from Belgium. I am working on a web site, kinda new to this thing but I will get into it eventually. The little water containers that hung on the flax wheels are about impossible to find and probably they have been occasionally seen at flea markets or sales and no one knows what they are looking at. I have a little one made out of leather. When I we spin I use a process that is much cleaner, less work and much speedier than the old wet spinning process. First I spin my single dry. I then spin another bobbin full. I now place the two bobbins on a little rack together side by side. I then take two old flat irons, place them in a deep pot under water. I now take the end of both threads and run each through the handles of each flat iron. I put a towell on my lap, pull the fibers so that they can be plied into a new bobbin and being careful to not allow them to twist until they are actually plied at the eye(oriface) of the wheel keeping an equal tension on both. This is the fastest mode of wet spinning that I have ever used. It makes the yarn very tightly spun and without the fiber frays left from dry spinning. Maybe you can use this some time!! Thanks, Dave

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wow that sounds really interesting Dave. I am in Australia and I have never seen anyone spin flax ever. I bought a little bit to try and found it horrible to try to spin and then I found out you are supposed to spin it wet. I honestly couldn't be bothered then, but I would be very interested if you had a tutorial or video on your web site when you get it going.I am very curious to see how its done.

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May I ask if you had the flax roving-(endless small round batt) or the long line flax with the fibers 2 to 3 feet in length?

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Some people prefer the roving as it spins more like wool. I learned on the long line flax years ago. It does not have to be spun wet as this can easily be accomplished as I previously mentioned in an earlier post and it is very nice for loom warp and quite strong. Using flax singles for loom warp is a pain in the backside as it breaks very easily. In any case let me give you a few quick hints for easy flax spinning. Once learned it is really enjoyable. Take about 1/2 pound of long line flax and spread it out on the floor so it is quite thin making sure that the fibers face towards and away from you instead of sideways. If you are hand spinning or wheel spinning, dressing the distaff is about the same and very easy. If your wheel does not have a distaff simply use a hall tree, bird cage stand, or just simply tie a long stick to the back of a chair to be used as the distaff to hold the flax. Take the distaff or stick and lay it on top of either the left or right hand side of the fibers on the floor. You will want the stick to be going in the same direction of the flax fibers. Next simply roll the fibers onto the stick(distaff) until you have a nice thick roll of fibers around it-not too tightly. Do not turn the stick to roll up the fibers but simply roll the fibers around it. Take a ribbon or strip of cloth that is about 6 to 8 feet long and tie the middle of it just above the fibers on the stick. Now loosely wrap the ribbon- one side going clockwise and the other counter clockwise around both fibers and distaff decending down the distaff in a criss cross manner until the fiber is held onto it quite nicely. You will see that you have gone around the entirity for 2 to 3 wraps and then you can tie the bottoms of the ribbon just at the bottoms of the fibers around the distaff. If is too short for the actual fiber length just tie the top, then around two or three times and then tied to the bottom of the distaff allowing the rest of the fibers to hang out of the bottom. Now mount the distaff on the wheel or if hand spinning under one arm. Take 5 to 10? fibers from the end of the bunch and spin it, whether on the wheel or spindle. Pull the fibers down slowly allowing them to twist into yarn. As these fibers began to thin out- reach the end, simply began pulling others around them from the bunch and allow them to began to twist and draw so as to start another group for spinning. At first it may seem difficult but don't give up!!!!!! When you feel the right amount of fiber twisting between your fingers you can let some of the twist go up into the bunch and other fibers will readily be drawn in. When you learn it through patience you will be very satisfied with the end product!!! If this is clear as mud I am sorry and if you have questions I will try my best to help. Dave K.

Last edited by ancientflaxman; 04/10/08 04:40 PM.
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I think it was roving but there wasn't a lot of it and it was hard and horrible. But thanks for your explanation it was very clear. I have a friend who would like to learn how to spin flax and she thought because I spin I could teach her, but I have never seen how its done and like I said read it had to be wet spun.You make it sound nice to spin I should buy some from you and give it a go since its not readily available here. Can I email you for a price and postage to Australia?

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As I said, once you learn it is very enjoyable. Very fine linen is woven with a wet spun plyed flax warp and a single or plyed weft. A very fine knitting yarn is made with 2 wet spun plied yarns. Follow the directions in my previous posting on easy wet spinning. Take your time with it and be easy on yourself and let me know how it turns out. If interested in purchasing some flax you may email me at hatchery@arvig.net Thanks, Dave K

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Thank you for the emails!!! I may as well post the prices of my long line flax as per the interest. It is $9.95 per strick and each strick is appx. 200to220 grams which is a little less than 1/2 pound. Postage is $7.50 for up to three stricks and $8.95 for up to eight of them in the U.S.. Some of the stricks have varying degrees of fineness or coarsness but very spinnable. Fibers are usually 2 to 3 feet long. I accept checks or money orders. Please email if interested! Thanks, Dave K. ancientflaxman Blessed Be

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Someone asked about getting little water pots for spinning flax. There are some at the colonial fiber arts .BellaOnline ALERT: Raw URLs are not allowed in these forums for security reasons. Please use UBB code. If you don't know how to do UBB code just post here for help - we will help out!

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I have reduced my long line flax strick prices. $9.75 per strick. 10 or more stricks are $8.75 each. Stricks may vary between 180 to 210 grams which works out to be appx. 7 oz. If you check with American suppliers and purchase this fiber by the pound please keep in mind that their pound is appx. 400 grams which is less than an pound. The European strick goes by KG instead of pounds. . Shipping in the USA is as follows; 1 strick priority $4.60----- 2 to 7 $8.95 priority flat rate box----- 8 to 12 $12.95 priority flat rate box. You are welcome to call Dave the flax man in Eagle bend, Minnesota 218-738-2222 or I can be emailed at flax@midwestinfo.net Better yet come in and see me at my little studio. I have been spinning flax for appx. 40 plus years so if you have any questions please email me. Thank you and happy spinning!!!

Last edited by ancientflaxman; 04/29/08 06:29 PM.
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