Thursday, September 15, 2022

Patience is Virtuous!

And quite successful. Although it took a full two weeks, the flax is retted! 

Here is the final view of the nasty, smelly pool just before I took out the flax to test it:

Flax retting in a blue puppy pool, in dark, tea-colored water.
You cannot even see the flax through the "tea" water of bacteria
and other decaying matter.

The next step was to drain the water. 

Retted flax lying in the drained puppy pool
Yes, the flax was indeed submerged, soaked through and through.

But look at how pretty it became when it was rinsed!

Close-up image of retted and rinsed flax
It's a lovely, natural flax/linen color. 
No longer stinky either!

The next step is to let it dry. Then it's ready for further processing (braking, scutching, and hackling) into spinnable fiber!

I'm sure that those of you who want to try this for yourself would appreciate a peek at what a retted flax stalk should look like, so here's a video in which I've rubbed and broken a stalk to show how the retting breaks down the outer casing of the flax to reveal the fiber threads beneath:

I still need to update you on the ongoing progress with my ASI Teaching Tools Grant. Next post, I promise!

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