OT word of the day - Page 12

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Re: OT word of the day

One of the oldest cultivated plant fibers, a bast fiber from the plant
of the same name.
Flax is the fiber linen is woven of.
There are two basic types of flax, "long flax" is the variety that
fiber and much of the oil crop is gotten from.
Flax oil, linseed oil, is harvested from the fully mature seed, while
the fiber is gotten from the slightly green stem.  Since the seed is
fully mature when the plant is completely dry and brown, you may only
efficently harvest one or the other from a single plant.

Flax is the strongest of the common plant fibers.  It is two to three
times stronger than cotton. Because of the natural waxes in the fiber
it is very smooth and lint free.  When fabric is made of flax it may
be stiff for the first several years of its life, but will soften with
repeated laundering.  Boiling or repeated laundering are often used to
soften new linen, as this removes some of the natural waxes.  However
this stiffness is usually maintained in threads for specialty
applications as the waxes will add years to the durabilty of it.
Traditionally flax is the thread of choice for lacemaking,
leatherworking, and a number of other skilled crafts.

In addition to linen and thread, flax fiber is made into a variety of
It is used in rope, paper, packing materials, sculptural composites,
and etc. Some of these products are made from the straw left over
after the seed is harvested, however there is actually quite a demand
for the superior quality fibers in many of these applications.  Paper
money in many countries for instance, contains quite a bit of cloth
quality flax fiber.

The unspun fiber makes excellent doll hair, and has the advantage of
being completely washable with no special steps.  Since flax dyes
extremely well and is _very_  colorfast after dying, the fiber both
spun and unspun is useful in a number of crafts.

Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
Also the name of one of my favorite clothing companies.

Kathyl (KJ)
remove "nospam" before mchsi
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Re: OT word of the day
On Thu, 23 Apr 2009 22:48:55 -0500, NightMist wrote

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Wow Nightmist.

I don't know where you find all this information.  But it's fascinating!

I love the Word of the Day.


Re: OT word of the day

As flax is one of the oldest known cultivated textile fibers, it
stands to reason that linen is one of the oldest known woven textiles.

A clothing standard for many years, the use of linen in garments fell
steadily as the the use of cotton increased.  Preparing flax for
spinning is both labor and time intensive, and it is more difficult to
weave than cotton because it is less elastic thus, making cotton a
notably cheaper cloth.  At some point in the 1970's linen reached an
all time low in that of the fabric produced less than 10% was used by
the garment industry.  It was however still in much demand for bed and
table linens, and by crafters as a ground for assorted needlecrafts.
While there has been an apparent upsurge in the popularity of linen in
clothing, much of this in the form of cheaper blends, and suspect
imports from east and southeast Asia.
Linen is still a standard of quality in household linens, as may be
noted by the double meaning of the word.(G)
It is also considered a superior support for paintings.  Its archival
qualities are without question, as there are perfectly preserved
examples of linen from ancient tombs that have been dated as being
several millennia old.
It once was much used for assorted industrial applications, mostly due
to its strength and durability.  A minor example would be the timing
belt on my Pfaff 130, it is nearly 60 years old and still in perfect
condition.  In heavier applications it was often layered with leather
or rubber to make machine belts, or used  in laminating surfaces that
would come under stress.

"Linen weave" fabrics are fabrics made of fibers other than flax, that
have been woven to resemble linen.
Many different linen blends are cropping up these days, most likely a
cost measure, though the standard 55-45 cotton-linen blend is still
the most common.  

Linen is highly absorbent, yet dries quickly, and conducts body heat
well, making it an excellent choice for summer garments.
It wears like iron, dyes well and is extremely colorfast.

The major drawback for most people is that it is better by far for the
fabric to press it dry than to tumble it.  Linen is rather well known
for wrinkling easily, however it also presses easily particularly when
damp.  So not tossing it in the dryer and instead ironing it dry
immediately after washing, or hanging it out and bringing it in to
press when still damp is only logical. If one reads any of the
plethora of books on household management from the latter nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries, one will find a number of methods just
for keeping linen damp so it may be ironed easily.  

Repeated pressing of folds and creases in linen clothing may
eventually break the fibers and cause them to fray.  Fraying at the
collar, cuffs, and hem are the commonest damage to well loved linen
clothing. Thus it is advisable to make such garments using techniques
that allow for easy replacement or mending of the weak points.  When
such repairs are possible, a linen garment will give many years of
good wear.

Many people believe that flattened slubs in linen fabric are a sign
that it is genuine. In actuality it is a sign that it was cheaply
Good linen should be perfectly smooth with no slubs and evenly matched
Most of Europe, and Japan as well, have rules about linen and linen
labeling, Ireland and Japan for example have trade guilds that
regulate production in their respective countries quite firmly.
Imports from other places are less regulated and more prone to


Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: flax OT
I just had to put my .02 in here (sorry, couldn't figure out how to make it
say 2 cents on my 'puter.)

Flax, is one of the new "must have" things in our diet.  Flax seeds are ok
but putting flax seed meal in your baking is really good for you.  And, it
can replace some of
the fat you regularly use.
   Another thing, believe it or not, is hemp seeds.  Unfortunately not the
smoke-em kind, are good on cereal, yogurt etc.

   Don't know if y'all want to know this stuff, but I believe in passing on
good info...
   That said, I believe I'' have a piece of 854% cocoa chocolate, which
isn't as bad as it sounds

Re: OT word of the day

Shoulder Pads

Contrary to popular opinion, the object of shoulder pads is not to
make you look like a  football player.
They actually have many purposes,  to provide a smooth and even
foundation for the garment to hang from if you have bumpy bony
shoulders, to compensate for uneven shoulders,  to camouflage sloping
shoulders, to generally shape the shoulder area so a specific style of
sleeve hangs properly, all in addition to their purpose of modifying
the silhouette  (giving  you linebacker shoulders).

There are two basic types of shoulder pads, round and square.  The
round ones slope gently at the outside edge, while the square ones end
sharply.  They vary in size and thickness as appropriate to the
garment and the current fashion.  They by no means have to be an inch
thick and made of foam rubber.  I use them in almost every jacket or
coat that I make just to provide a bit of support at the shoulder
seams for both drape and seam, and often I make them no more than a
few layers of fabric thick.


Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
How true this all is.  I had a coat made for me recently.  I gave the
lady some 'gentle' shoulder pads, with the fabric.  She didn't put them
in.  I have worn the coat a few times, but I'm going to have to unpick
the lining a bit and put some in - it doesn't look or feel right.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Best Regards
pat on the hill

Re: OT word of the day
Buttonhole stitch
Blanket stitch

Different stitches with similar and sometimes interchangeable
The names of these stitches are often confused.
Both are used for binding raw edges,  lace making, embroidery, and
There are strong similarities in appearance between the two stitches,
and both have countless variations upon them.  However upon closer
examination they are clearly different stitches, and are made very

Instructions for making both stitches, with some variations on  the
blanket stitch are here:



Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
Well, I never knew the 'groups of three' aspect of blanket stitch.  I
just thought blanket stitch had wider gaps between the 'legs'.

Thanks for this extra snippet of knowledge Nightmist.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Best Regards
pat on the hill

Re: OT word of the day


A single knit cotton or cotton blend fabric, usually sold by the yard
in tubes.  It has a substantial crosswise stretch and much more
limited lengthwise stretch.
The original fabric from the isle of Jersey was wool, and sometimes
lightly napped on the purl side.
Heavier doubleknit jersey is available, though it has less stretch.

It is the fabric that isused to make T-shirts not the fabric used to
make sport jerseys, at least in the US.

Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day

Originally a variety of wholecloth quilting from Marseilles, the word
has come to simply mean quilting in the modern sense that we are all
familiar with.  Pieced, applique, or wholecloth, this is the word most
commonly used in french for making quilts.
In the original work in France the top may have been a print,
embroidered, or plain, most commonly in linen or cotton though silk
was also much in use. The batting was usually of carded cotton or
silk.  For a while quilts of this variety were a much in demand trade

Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day

Hollow fiber

While they are used a lot in things like filtration systems and other
industrial applications requireing a floating membrane, hollow fibers
are also used in textiles.

As a stand alone term, hollow fiber usually refers to a manmade fiber
that has been spun around a solid core of something like vinyl, the
core is then slid out of the resultant yarn leaving the hollow shell.
This yarn is an excellent insulator, but has very poor tensile
strength.  It is used in several brand name thermal products, where it
is used as a fill or batt. Several companies are experimenting with
blending various types of hollow fiber with other fibers in order to
produce a textile retaining the excellent insulating properties of
hollow fibers, and with sufficient strength to be used as a functional


Nothing has been the same since that house fell on my sister.

Re: OT word of the day
I will be back to doing this sometime after I get back from the
I was just going to take a day off to put the finishing touches on my
dress, and then _everything_ went wrong.

thinking of writing a book called "When Good Sewing Machines Go Bad"

Legolas is my house elf

Re: OT word of the day
Block Printing

Block printing is the earliest printing technique known of imparting
printed design to textiles, in fact the use of block printing on
textiles may well predate its use on paper. Sources vary as to whether
China or Egypt was the first civilization to play with the method.

In its earliest forms, pieces of wood were carved with the desired
design, then dye was bushed on the blocks and stamped on the fabric.
As the art evolved more interesting methods were tried, some
successfully, some less so. Since vegetables dyes were the ones
primarily is use, a lot of experimenting to get various colors on a
single piece with a colored background took place.  Some interesting
results were achieved by stamping just the mordants, and then brush or
tub dyeing.
Of course stamping resists was not far behind stamping dyes in being
thought of, and discharge methods came along after a while as well.

Through history blocks for printing have been made of a wide variety
of materials and combinations of materials.  Wood is not as common
now, assorted metals, silicones, rubber, linoleum (like back in school
art class), and various such things have been used and are still used

In the west block printing has largely been discarded in comercial
application, but in the east it is still much in use as so much more
industry there is home based.
The recent rubber stamp craze in the west extended into clothing and
textiles with designs being stamped on all sorts of things in fabric
paint. Thickened dye can be used  with rubber stamps, but the dye
tends to degrade the rubber fairly quickly. There are however a large
number of vegetable based resists that can be used with rubber stamps
and cause them no damage whatsoever. Stamping these resists and then
applying dye with a brush can yield very satisfactory results that
last longer than paint.

Legolas is my house elf

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