University of Wisconsin- Green Bay students are growing their own flax!
This project sprouted when a History Department faculty member researching Alexander the Great's armor found it was actually layers of linen and not metal, hence his conquering some hot climates. Another faculty member who is an expert in Medieval Russian flax processes joined forces with the Art Department and now the project has taken off.
"We're going to try to go from seed to shirt- which frankly is even more work than going sheep to shawl " states Associate Professor of Arts and Visual Design Alison Gates. "We're doing this with some help from one of our Scientists who's testing a deer repellant on our flax bed."
UWGB flax harvesting
Four members of the Flax Team recently spent 6 hours harvesting one of their plots which covers 400 square feet. Harvesting is a labor-intensive process which includes pulling, bundling and stacking. Once dry, the fiber will be separated from the stem (retting), broken into short segments (breaking), fibers extracted (scutching) and combed (heckling).
The final step will be spinning and weaving of the flax. The WI SDA blog will be following the Flax Team as they continue their exciting journey!