Materials - Linen

Linen is made from plant (Flax) stems that are treated to a multiple step process to become spin able fibers. Some of the highlights include: soaking the stems to rot the woody core of the stems, drying them, and them pounding them with mallets and other tools to free the fibers from the bark, and then combing the resultant fibers to remove any other particles and to prepare them for spinning. Linen is naturally brown, however bleaching occurred in period and is known to have added considerably add to the cost of the cloth.

Very little linen has been found at archeological sites because it is a vegetable fiber and decomposes very easily. However, a few small pieces were found in the London dig. They were mainly a fairly balanced tabby weave, a bit tighter, and finer than the usual linen we find in our stores today. It's thread count is more similar to many cotton linen blends, (about 20 threads per cm in warp and weft) (T+C p 80).

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