In the previous post I was talking about the amount of flax, needed to make 80 meters of linen….!!! No one came up with any good answers…!!!!!
This is a picture of the Linen.
In Medieval times everything was labor intensive and time consuming. There was a long process from plant to fabric, however, once the linen was woven it then needed further processing to improve the texture and color. I was the natural brown of the flax, but it was more fashionable to have light beige fabric….
It was bleached by being boiled in a solution of water alkalized by the addition of ash from wood, fern or seaweed, then stretched out on frames for exposure to light and air for several weeks… however, they still had to be kept damp. Neutralization followed, soaking in a weak acid solution made from sour milk, buttermilk or water fermented by rye or bran. Finally the fabric is pounded with a piece of marble or glass to make it smooth and silky.
We just pop down to the shop for our treasures….!!!!!
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Now answers to questions like that take a bit of time and lots of research. There are very few records from medieval times regarding flax yields. Farming methods were different. You wouldn’t see the large plantings you see today. However, working back from farming methods today for hemp. It produces between 20 – 30 bushel per acre. Linen is said to produce about 1/2 that amount. An acre of ground would produce about 100 square metres of fabric. No figures for thread but it is said that it took 12 to 14 days to spin 1lb to thread.