Make, learn and talk about needle lace.
Je me suis procuré un fil de lin de marque Goldchild 100/3 mais il manque d’être suffisamment lisse et uniforme. Il a des imperfections que je qualifierais de rustiques. On me dit qu’il en est de même avec le fil Fresia et de tout autre fil de lin. S’il vous plaît, j’aimerais avoir autres opinions. Qu’en pensez-vous? Existe-t-il de nos jours un fil de lin suffisamment lisse pour des travaux fins comme la dentelle d'Alençon par exemple? Merci à tous.
I bought a brand linen thread Goldchild 100/3 but it fails to be sufficiently smooth and uniform. It has imperfections that I would describe as rustic. The salor told me it is the same with the Fresia and all the others linen thread. Please, I would like to have other opinions. What about you? Are there nowadays a sufficiently smooth linen thread for fine work like Alençon lace by example? Thank you all.
Thanks Carolyn, unfortunately this thread was sold. It was very expensive because seller has got a lot of 8 boxes with 6 skeins, and asked 150 $. I will continue looking for realy thread, thisone is the nearest what I imagine old thread.
I found this linen thread at ebay. It looks like thin and I am confused about name of thread.
C.F. fil coeur de lin
If I try translate, that means extra crazy, o my god, how thread can be crazy?! And coeur is menning heart, ok what is different between coeur de lin and others lin? Thanks
Veronica, There are a few theories about why linen thread is not as fine as it used to be. One is that the varieties of flax that made the best fibers were lost during World War 1. This is probably partly true, but I think the stronger theory is that the methods of growing and processing changed significantly since that time. Mechanization, changed soil management and use of chemicals (on the fields and in the environment in general), the chemistry of the water used for retting, etc. all affect the final product. Plus the market for really fine, smooth thread is small so it is not worth the time and effort for thread producers to make it the old way (if they even remember how to do it).
You need to use seeds for flax that is specific for fiber production, not seed production. Common fiber varieties available in the USA (I don't know about for South America) are Marilyn and Evelin. The seeds should be sown close together in a patch (not in rows) to encourage straight, unbranched plants. It is essential to remove all weeds from the patch. The flax fibers thicken as the plant matures, so harvesting the plant at a more immature stage will yield finer fibers, but if too early then they will be shorter. Processing the flax to remove the fibers is long and somewhat complicated.....
There are a few books about flax, and those that our local flax and linen study group find most useful are Linen: Hand Spinning and Weaving by Patricia Baines, Linen from Flax Seed to Woven Cloth by Linda Heinrich, and The Big Book of Flax: A Compendium of Facts, Art, Lore, Projects and Song by Christian and Johannes Zinzendorf.
I would also love to find a resource that describes how the fine thread was made in the past. There are tales of women spinning in damp basements with one beam of sunlight to see their flax fibers - to get threads that are 2-3 fibers thick, and smoothed in the moist air. I've never heard whether these women used a spinning wheel or a drop or supported spindle to spin it.
Carolyn, thanks very much for the information and book recommendations. I was indeed thinking about the fact that maybe they used a one-fiber thread, and and so if yes, it would only had allowed for very short working thread lengths. I will try to find information about the ancient techniques and processes they used. As far as I know, at the present the finest fibers are obtained from linen from Brussels and the Normandy French region. The article where I read that information mentioned that the environmental aspects, wheather, among other factors, had a place in the plants from there rendering finer fibers. Although, I wonder how many fibers current manufactured threads contain. And, if whether it would be possible to use onle one fiber at a time for making lace, or not. I will try to contact any expert people I can find, and I will search also for any historical references I can. I will post it here if I have any good news.
Thanks again! Have you all a nice day!
Thanks for the information. Your explanation makes sense.
Suite à mon questionnement initial en 2015, j'ai communiquée avec les religieuses de l'abbaye d'Argentan. Les dentelles qu'elles produisent jusqu'à maintenant sont faites à partir des réserves de fil de lin qu'elles possèdent et ont depuis longtemps emmagasinées. Selon elles, les produits chimiques utilisés aujourd'hui dans les champs conduisent à produire un lin beaucoup plus court et de ce fait, presque impossible à filer aussi fin qu'autrefois.
D'ailleurs, elles m'ont gentiment demandé de les tenir au courant si quelqu'un arrive à trouver un fil de lin lisse et fin quelque part dans le monde.