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3 hours ago, Sylverthorne said:

 

I've never spun flax, but I'm told it's interesting stuff to work with.

The whole thing on where we get fiber for clothing and other purposes is all /kinds/ of fascinating. Hemp, flax, cotton, bamboo, taro .. coconut fiber?! I never cease to be amazed at all the stuff we can and will make cloth out of.

 

Really it would be a whole lot simpler if we all just walked around nude, wouldn't it?

 

...Maybe not.

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5 hours ago, Sylverthorne said:

You get cloth - or rope - from the stems, if I remember correctly. Flax is soaked and, iirc, stomped on to start the process of loosening and separating the fibers. They use special tools for the next step; said tool can be as simple as a bunch of nails driven through a board, or as complicated as a specially made comb. The flax is beaten against the pointy parts of said comb until the fibers separate, then combed and organized for the spinner. Unlike cotton, I don't /think/ you need a special wheel for flax.. at least, I've seen people spin flax with a standard wheel, and it didn't look any more complicated than spinning wool. Or silk. Silk is a whole different ball of worms. ^^;

 

Pretty much right on as I understand it. The flax bundles are soaked until the rest of the plant material rots away, which is called "retting". (I've heard that it's an unpleasant-smelling process). Once you have the fibers, you can comb them just as you would wool or cotton, and spin linen yarn (as I understand it) the same way you would spin wool yarn, with a distaff and spindle or a spinning wheel.

 

As noted in a different post, linen fabric can be a bit harsh and scratchy when it's first made, but after a few washings it becomes soft and really pleasant to wear or sleep on.

 

Note that I haven't done this myself, so if I made any errors, please correct me.

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3 hours ago, Sylverthorne said:

 

Um. Sorry; must correct a detail. Linen comes from flax; flax is a plant. Flax also provides flax seeds, which, while a good source of insoluble fiber, must be run through a grinder before they will do us any good; the dratted things are so slick and hard that our digestive system can't do much to them if they go in whole. But they're good for you, so remember to ingest your daily dose of flax. Mix your pulverized seeds with oatmeal or something.

 

You get cloth - or rope - from the stems, if I remember correctly. Flax is soaked and, iirc, stomped on to start the process of loosening and separating the fibers. They use special tools for the next step; said tool can be as simple as a bunch of nails driven through a board, or as complicated as a specially made comb. The flax is beaten against the pointy parts of said comb until the fibers separate, then combed and organized for the spinner. Unlike cotton, I don't /think/ you need a special wheel for flax.. at least, I've seen people spin flax with a standard wheel, and it didn't look any more complicated than spinning wool. Or silk. Silk is a whole different ball of worms. ^^;

 

I've never spun flax, but I'm told it's interesting stuff to work with.

The whole thing on where we get fiber for clothing and other purposes is all /kinds/ of fascinating. Hemp, flax, cotton, bamboo, taro .. coconut fiber?! I never cease to be amazed at all the stuff we can and will make cloth out of.

 :ik_oops:

Oops. So... shepherds farmers, spinners [spinsters?] and then proceeding on to weavers & maybe drapers[?]. Does a Draper do bedsheets?

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1 hour ago, TGP said:

 :ik_oops:

Oops. So... shepherds farmers, spinners [spinsters?] and then proceeding on to weavers & maybe drapers[?]. Does a Draper do bedsheets?

 

Farmer, spinner (spinsters refer to something else; usually unmarried women, who may or may not be old), weaver, dyer, for another horribly stinky process that may or may not use (and possibly purchase!) urine for the bleaching process.

… if I can take Wikipedia seriously, a draper is a cloth merchant (specializing in clothing, more than bed linens), so.. yes, about like that. There's also transportation. Buying a lot of bed sheets hits rather a lot of people in that chain; and that seems like something a queen ought to at least suspect, so I can believe that could have happened like that. Although burning them seems kind of suspect. Eh. History is occasionally very odd.

 

2 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

Pretty much right on as I understand it. The flax bundles are soaked until the rest of the plant material rots away, which is called "retting". (I've heard that it's an unpleasant-smelling process). Once you have the fibers, you can comb them just as you would wool or cotton, and spin linen yarn (as I understand it) the same way you would spin wool yarn, with a distaff and spindle or a spinning wheel.

 

As noted in a different post, linen fabric can be a bit harsh and scratchy when it's first made, but after a few washings it becomes soft and really pleasant to wear or sleep on.

 

Note that I haven't done this myself, so if I made any errors, please correct me.

 

Yah, my memory of the process is a little vague too, I may have gotten the beating and soaking steps mixed up. However, getting flax from plant to fiber is in fact a very involved process, and the spinning is probably the easy part.

 

Finally, something I know something about, so I can help!

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4 hours ago, Sylverthorne said:

Eh. History is occasionally very odd.

 

 

Exactly this. I frequently read about events in history that would make you throw a novel away as being totally improbable rubbish.

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20 hours ago, Sylverthorne said:

The whole thing on where we get fiber for clothing and other purposes is all /kinds/ of fascinating. Hemp, flax, cotton, bamboo, taro .. coconut fiber?! I never cease to be amazed at all the stuff we can and will make cloth out of.

Have you heard of sea silk/sea wool?

 

Y'see, there's this mollusk, and it's a big one (up to a meter long), called "pinna nobilis."  That's the "fan mussel" or "noble pen shell" to most of us.  Not me, 'cause I'd never heard of the silly thing until recently.

 

Like most of its cousins, the fan mussel secretes stuff to anchor it to rocks and whatnot.  That gunk happens to be a series of strands, up to about 6 cm long (around 2" give or take).  You take the strands, treat them with lemon juice (to turn the byssus strands gold in color), and do whatever it is that spinners do.  I assume it's "spin" but you never know.

 

You make the thread, and then you start weaving.  The finished product is, by all reports, phenomenal.  A pair of gloves so fine that they would fit, allegedly, in a walnut shell.  A pair of stockings would need a snuff box (smaller than a box for a deck of cards).

 

The word on the street, or canal, or whatever...is that you can also eat the fan mussel and sometimes harvest pearls.

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3 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

Um, that doesn't look any easier than just riding or walking your bike up the hill. 

 

I was wondering about how well it would deal with an ice storm, too. (Not that you should be out riding your bike after an ice storm, but ... people.)

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51 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

Um, that doesn't look any easier than just riding or walking your bike up the hill. 

It's by definition easier since a machine is doing all the work.

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1 hour ago, kristof65 said:

Um, that doesn't look any easier than just riding or walking your bike up the hill. 

 

The hill is a 20% slope, so it's much steeper than it looks.  

But yeah, it's hard to ride this lift, which is probably why it was never adopted anywhere else.  

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It seems that when it comes to perfume, tigers prefer Obsession by Calvin Klein.  

(It contains a synthetic version of Civet Musk)

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Fighting poverty is an uphill battle, but finding a strategy that works is also a challenge. According to a study headed by Yale researchers, the key to getting people out of the cycle of poverty isn't giving them money, it's giving them tools.

Nearly 11,000 people in Peru, India, Honduras, Ghana, Pakistan, and Ethiopia participated in a randomized study to see if people could get themselves out of poverty if they were given the right guidance and tools.

In Ghana, families designated as ultra-poor were given a one-time deal of about $450 worth of product.

They could choose from goats and hens, goats and corn, or shea nuts and hens.

They were then given all the tools they needed to become successful. If they were raising animals, they were taught about animal health, breeding, and veterinary care.

They were also enrolled in a national health insurance plan.

Finally, throughout the two-year experiment, they received regular instruction on subjects ranging from savings accounts to nutrition.

The experiment worked.

Not only were these families more successful, more comfortable, and healthier, they were able to eat better, save money, and work throughout the year.

Benefits continued after the program ended, suggesting that the way to end poverty isn't to give money or food, but to give people the tools to build their own futures.

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Modern glitter as we know it was invented in 1934 by a New Jersey cattle rancher named Henry Ruschmann. Henry also dabbled as a machinist. His hobby led to the accidental discovery of a process that used a machine to precisely cut plastic films into thousands of tiny pieces.

All those tiny pieces of plastic eventually became the product we now call glitter. Ruschmann started a company called Meadowbrook Inventions to produce glitter in large quantities. His company is still in business today and is one of the world's largest manufacturers of glitter.

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PON(Caterpillar) is building 25Ton hydraulic diggers in Norway(where else).

They're talking about 5 - 7 Hours runtime on a charge...  

 

Can anyone imagine the battey pack required for that?

 

 

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