Discovering Our Fiber Heritage
I have always loved fine linens. Fascinated by the delicate detail and long
wearing qualities of the woven fabrics that can be created from this noble
fiber, I was compelled to research the roots of the textile industry in
the USA. I am fortunate to be living very near Slater Mill in Pawtucket,
Mill is situated on the Blackstone River.
The Blackstone Valley was the cradle of the American textile industry where
Samuel Slater built his textile mill and became the father of the industrial
Today we have a guest writer, Andrian Paquette, Curator of Slater Mill.
He was kind enough to share some information about Linen.
Today, when most people look in their
linen closet they find sheets, towels and tablecloths made mostly of
cotton and synthetic fibers. There was a time when these items were
primarily made from a plant called flax. Flax is cultivated for its
seeds, for its fiber and as an ornamental. Linen cloth is made from
the variety of flax grown specifically for its fiber. Along with other
fiber producing plants like hemp, jute, nettle and sisal, flax is a
bast fiber, meaning the fibers come from the outer coating of the plant's
stem. Flax has one of the longest natural fibers, with a staple length
of up to 35 inches. For this reason linen cloth is both very durable
and nearly lint-free but also very wrinkly. READ
Berroco believes in the power of knitting with linen fibers. To soften the hand thus enhancing the drape and sheen we have developed yarns that are more knitterly than 100% linen. This season we introduced 3 new yarns that are a blend of linen and other fibers. Linen
Jeans™ is a ribbon of linen and rayon, Seduce™ combines linen, silk, rayon and nylon and Naturlin™ is a twist of linen and rayon.
Today we are posting a free pattern that evolved from a lovely table runner, Montague from
Booklet #273. When the piece arrived from the knitter, I threw
the fabric around myself and was convinced that it would make a very lovely
shrug. By manipulating the pattern stitch and sewing 2 shoulder seams,
we created a new piece, Montsey,
also in NaturLin. It is a delicate cover-up
for those sleeveless, sultry summer evenings. If you haven't yet viewed
our audio slideshow about Booklet #273 featuring
Naturlin you can hear Norah and me discuss the pieces featured in that
book as you watch the slideshow. You can find an archive of this and other
multimedia presentations on our new page.
All the best,
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