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Re: [SCA Newcomers] Fabric question...

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  • Judith Epstein
    ... Multiple answers. 1. Absolutely not. Cotton should be outlawed because it wasn t used in Europe at all except by the extremely wealthy, due to its scarcity
    Message 1 of 18 , Dec 8, 2009
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      On 8 Dec 2009, at 8:30 PM, peterbenma wrote:

      > I know that linen and wool ar the best fabrics for period garb. The problem I face with those is that I don't have alot of either and we must stay to a budget. Is it ok to start off with cotton fabrics as those are much less expensive?

      Multiple answers.

      1. Absolutely not. Cotton should be outlawed because it wasn't used in Europe at all except by the extremely wealthy, due to its scarcity and the fact that it wouldn't grow in European climates. And yes, we can totally tell when you're wearing cotton even if you say it's linen. We can also tell when you're wearing rayon or viscose. If you can't do it right (meaning, all linens and wools, all the time), just don't even bother to attend the event!

      2. The requirement for participation in an SCA event is that you make a "reasonable attempt" at pre-1600s garb. Your "reasonable attempt" may be buying real linen and wool at exorbitant prices, sewing it all by hand in period methods and patterns; or it may be spending $5 on old bed sheets at the Salvation Army, finding a pattern online, and doing your best. Whatever your "reasonable attempt" is based on -- economics, sewing ability or lack thereof, ability to pay others to make perfectly period clothing for you, or the fact that you borrowed garb from a friend or your local Gold key -- just remember that it is YOUR "reasonable attempt." Don't let anyone intimidate you into thinking you're unimportant or that your best isn't good enough unless you live an entirely medieval lifestyle (aside from owning a car to get you to and from different events all over the continent and a private jet to take you to overseas events, of course). This is an educational society. Do what you can, and then learn about the things that you don't have a practical way of accomplishing just yet, and enjoy yourself.

      Now, guess which view I espouse. ;) Yes, I recently finished my first piece of garb. It only took me 3 months from the time I bought a sewing machine in September and chased it down with $5 worth of bed sheets at Salvation Army.

      -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
      D'vorah, mka Judith Epstein
      Master Albrecht Waldfurster's Egg
      Middle Kingdom, Midlands, Ayreton, Tree-Girt-Sea (Chicago, IL)
      judith@...
      -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    • Ziddinaaitzumar@comcast.net
      Yikes!  I like answer #2...   I think Branwyn Morgan [spelling??  not sure of name...] posted a comment in reply to my queries about wearing tea-stained
      Message 2 of 18 , Dec 9, 2009
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        Yikes!  I like answer #2...   I think Branwyn Morgan [spelling??  not sure of name...] posted a comment in reply to my queries about wearing 'tea-stained' cotton as chemise fabic - just look back in the previously posted comments for something about "What chemises are made of" within the last two months - Branwyn referred me to a website that was extremely useful, and did indicate that cotton is totally period - later period, if I remember correctly...  You'll also notice the comment that cotton was used by wealthy people; you may not be able to afford much fabric right now, but your personas can be wealthy ....  [Don't know whether the bold/italics are coming thru...]  Zid


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Judith Epstein" <judith@...>
        To: scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, December 8, 2009 10:14:23 PM GMT -07:00 US/Canada Mountain
        Subject: Re: [SCA Newcomers] Fabric question...

         





        On 8 Dec 2009, at 8:30 PM, peterbenma wrote:

        > I know that linen and wool ar the best fabrics for period garb. The problem I face with those is that I don't have alot of either and we must stay to a budget. Is it ok to start off with cotton fabrics as those are much less expensive?

        Multiple answers.

        1. Absolutely not. Cotton should be outlawed because it wasn't used in Europe at all except by the extremely wealthy, due to its scarcity and the fact that it wouldn't grow in European climates. And yes, we can totally tell when you're wearing cotton even if you say it's linen. We can also tell when you're wearing rayon or viscose. If you can't do it right (meaning, all linens and wools, all the time), just don't even bother to attend the event!

        2. The requirement for participation in an SCA event is that you make a "reasonable attempt" at pre-1600s garb. Your "reasonable attempt" may be buying real linen and wool at exorbitant prices, sewing it all by hand in period methods and patterns; or it may be spending $5 on old bed sheets at the Salvation Army, finding a pattern online, and doing your best. Whatever your "reasonable attempt" is based on -- economics, sewing ability or lack thereof, ability to pay others to make perfectly period clothing for you, or the fact that you borrowed garb from a friend or your local Gold key -- just remember that it is YOUR "reasonable attempt." Don't let anyone intimidate you into thinking you're unimportant or that your best isn't good enough unless you live an entirely medieval lifestyle (aside from owning a car to get you to and from different events all over the continent and a private jet to take you to overseas events, of course). This is an educational society. Do what you can, and then learn about the things that you don't have a practical way of accomplishing just yet, and enjoy yourself.

        Now, guess which view I espouse. ;) Yes, I recently finished my first piece of garb. It only took me 3 months from the time I bought a sewing machine in September and chased it down with $5 worth of bed sheets at Salvation Army.

        -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
        D'vorah, mka Judith Epstein
        Master Albrecht Waldfurster's Egg
        Middle Kingdom, Midlands, Ayreton, Tree-Girt-Sea (Chicago, IL)
        judith@...
        -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Maria Buchanan
        Ok.  I m going to get on my soap box for a minute.  What makes ANYONE think that Cotton is not period?  It is. Cotton was available throughout the
        Message 3 of 18 , Dec 9, 2009
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          Ok.  I'm going to get on my soap box for a minute. 
          What makes ANYONE think that Cotton is not period?  It is.
          Cotton was available throughout the Mediteranean area from about the 300s. 
          It may not be period for your persona, but it's NOT non period.
          That said ...
          The SCA newcomer's handbooks all say to make a "reasonable attempt" at period clothing.  To most people that means something that looks period from about 10 feet away. 
          Personally, I say dress for comfort.  So if you live in the south like me and are going to an outdoor event in the middle of the summer when cotton is almost too hot, yeah. 
          Most of my garb is still cotton.  I've been in the SCA for 11 years and I'm a protege.  I still wear sneakers to events, because I can't find a pair of period boots that fits well, is inexpensive enough and looks like my persona would wear them. 
          And if someone wants to say something to you about wearing cotton, as kindly as you can muster, tell them that other materials are much too expenisve for you and if they have some linen or wool that they could spare for a newcomer, you would be happy to take it off their hands.
          Sorry for the little outburst there, but people have this tendancy to make blanket statements and they aren't necessarily true.
          Lady Elizabeta Maria dei Medici
          also called
          Hrafna Rognvaldrsdottir
          Maria Buchanan
          Protege to Master Ivarr Runamagi and Master Rognvalder Tilbuin
          Kingdom of Ansteorra
          (Texas and Oklahoma to y'all up north)
          --- On Tue, 12/8/09, avri kallas <lil420pixie@...> wrote:


          From: avri kallas <lil420pixie@...>
          Subject: [SCA Newcomers] Fabric question...
          To: scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2009, 9:26 PM


           



          I used a cotton top sheet for my first tunic and an cotton curtain for my husbands first tunic...Yes cotton may not be period but at least you are attempting to be as period as you can on your budget..I think you should be find using what you have on hand...Its the effort that counts...

          Elena de Braci

          Avrilyn Czinczky
          Passion Parties® Independent Consultant
          Like a little – shop online
          Like a lot – host a party
          Love it all – become a consultant!

          Phone 715-212-0897
          Email: passionsbyavri@ gmail.com
          Shop online at http://avri. yourpassionconsu ltant.com

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]








          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Justinos Tekton called Justin
          ... [humor mode] Which is why being Byzantine persona is such a good thing. Well, that, and having the honor of living in New Rome, which is of course the
          Message 4 of 18 , Dec 13, 2009
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            On Tue, 2009-12-08 at 23:14 -0600, Judith Epstein wrote:
            > Absolutely not. Cotton should be outlawed because it wasn't used in
            > Europe at all except by the extremely wealthy, due to its scarcity and
            > the fact that it wouldn't grow in European climates.

            [humor mode]
            Which is why being Byzantine persona is such a good thing. Well, that,
            and having the honor of living in New Rome, which is of course the
            center of civilization and culture. *We* have cotton -- and indoor
            plumbing, at least for the well-to-do. You western Europeans are welcome
            to live in your chilly, squalid little kingdoms if you choose to do so.

            (Yes, D'vorah, I realize you were being ironic here...I just couldn't
            resist the urge to brag about my persona's homeland!)

            [/humor mode]

            Seriously, though, I prefer linen over cotton when I can afford it.
            Cotton is great...linen is even better. The more you wear it, the more
            comfortable it becomes. I hate hot weather, but linen makes it almost
            tolerable.

            All that being said, let me cast my vote for D'vorah's option #2. :-)

            Justin

            --
            ()xxxx[]::::::::::::::::::> <::::::::::::::::::[]xxxx()
            Maistor Justinos Tekton called Justin (Scott Courtney)
            Gules, on a bezant a fleam sable and on a chief dovetailed Or two keys
            fesswise reversed sable.

            justin@... http://4th.com/sca/justin/
          • Bambi TBNL
            I started out 21 years ago making al  my summer stuff out of cotton because that was what I could afford , it sis the job and I wasnnt entering it into an
            Message 5 of 18 , Dec 13, 2009
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              I started out 21 years ago making al  my summer stuff out of cotton because that was what I could afford , it sis the job and I wasnnt entering it into an A&S competition anyway... slowly though , after 20 years of dragging my patootie to pennsic with a small child and what ever would fit on or in the vehicle that ran T?HAt particular year...I have found that with judicious sholpping I could find REALLY good fabric bargains @ Pennsic and usually save most of my disposable income for linen  purchased there...I came home with 30 yards this year....granted..some of the colors have some 'splainin to do,but linen is also very very dyable so...at $3.00 a yard, 60" wide it was MUCH cheaper than cotton...i brought home every last inch I could afford to clothe not only my ever expanding mass (read that nothing fits from year to year and I have given most of my stuff away!)but also my dearly beloved newbie husband who does not have enough garb yet to make
              it through a long camping event.
              WOOHOO!!!..opps no VIVAT!!! Bambi (To be named later) TBNL


              I am made for great things by GOD
              and walk with Pride!!!!
              Walladah bint al Mustakfi c 1100ad
              see me dance
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HMtOoXtMs0




              ________________________________
              From: Justinos Tekton called Justin <justin@...>
              To: scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Sun, December 13, 2009 2:21:06 PM
              Subject: Re: [SCA Newcomers] Fabric question...

               
              On Tue, 2009-12-08 at 23:14 -0600, Judith Epstein wrote:
              > Absolutely not. Cotton should be outlawed because it wasn't used in
              > Europe at all except by the extremely wealthy, due to its scarcity and
              > the fact that it wouldn't grow in European climates.

              [humor mode]
              Which is why being Byzantine persona is such a good thing. Well, that,
              and having the honor of living in New Rome, which is of course the
              center of civilization and culture. *We* have cotton -- and indoor
              plumbing, at least for the well-to-do. You western Europeans are welcome
              to live in your chilly, squalid little kingdoms if you choose to do so.

              (Yes, D'vorah, I realize you were being ironic here...I just couldn't
              resist the urge to brag about my persona's homeland!)

              [/humor mode]

              Seriously, though, I prefer linen over cotton when I can afford it.
              Cotton is great...linen is even better. The more you wear it, the more
              comfortable it becomes. I hate hot weather, but linen makes it almost
              tolerable.

              All that being said, let me cast my vote for D'vorah's option #2. :-)

              Justin

              --
              ()xxxx[]:::: ::::::::: :::::> <::::::::::: :::::::[] xxxx()
              Maistor Justinos Tekton called Justin (Scott Courtney)
              Gules, on a bezant a fleam sable and on a chief dovetailed Or two keys
              fesswise reversed sable.

              justin@... http://4th.com/sca/justin/







              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Elizabeth Walpole
              ... From: scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of peterbenma Sent: Wednesday, 9 December 2009 1:31 PM To:
              Message 6 of 18 , Dec 14, 2009
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                -----Original Message-----
                From: scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com] On
                Behalf Of peterbenma
                Sent: Wednesday, 9 December 2009 1:31 PM
                To: scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [SCA Newcomers] Fabric question...

                I know that linen and wool ar the best fabrics for period garb. The problem
                I face with those is that I don't have alot of either and we must stay to a
                budget. Is it ok to start off with cotton fabrics as those are much less
                expensive?

                ------------------------------------

                As other people have mentioned SCA rules only require an attempt (the
                governing documents don't even say 'reasonable' attempt) at pre 17th century
                clothing.

                I say better cotton than synthetic (synthetic is hot, and melts onto your
                skin if it gets burnt and the SCA has a lot of open fires) it takes a bit
                more care in choosing cotton fabrics than linen or wool. Many people make
                tunics out of stiff cotton like broadcloth or twill and then wonder why it
                their tunic looks like a box. The trick is to find some softer cottons that
                will drape more like linen or wool, if it's a little bit sheer don't worry
                too much, so long as two or three layers of the fabric isn't too sheer for
                your comfort. In just about any period people wore at least two (more often
                three) layers of clothing for women that would be a shift/chemise/smock, a
                kirtle/under dress, and a gown. The smock would be a white fabric (almost
                always linen) that was easy to wash, the outer two layers were mostly wool
                or silk (as linen is relatively difficult to dye using natural methods it
                was not often used for coloured outer garments). The one big down side to
                cotton is the fading, it tends to fade more quickly than wool or silk and
                can often fade in patches, this is a good reason to follow period practice
                and wash the outer layers as little as possible and wear white undergarments
                to absorb the sweat and deal with all the washing.

                While you're just starting out it's actually a good idea to make something
                you don't feel too attached to while you work out where your interests lie
                in the SCA. Later when you decide on a favourite time period I would
                advocate saving up to invest in a few pieces of good quality garb that will
                last for a long time. Set aside a few dollars each week and save for what
                you want (I know a couple of people who have a dedicated fabric fund).

                It's also a good idea to invest in good patterns from reputable companies
                e.g. Margo Anderson http://www.margospatterns.com/ & The Tudor Tailor
                http://www.tudortailor.com/tailorsshop.htm for 16th century (I'm sure there
                are others for earlier periods) or learn how to create your own patterns the
                period way by draping fabric on a body (a duct tape double will come in
                handy if you want anything fitted) there are good books out there that give
                you an idea of the pattern shapes for different periods, but there's also
                some abysmal ones so ask for opinions before you trust a book.

                HTH
                Elizabeth
                -----------------------------------------
                Elizabeth Walpole | Elizabeth Beaumont
                Canberra, Australia | Politarchopolis, Lochac
                http://magpiecostumer.110mb.com/
              • Justinos Tekton called Justin
                ... {chuckle} You are in the SCA. You have the right to remain modern. Should you choose to give up this right, anything medieval you do can and will be
                Message 7 of 18 , Dec 15, 2009
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                  On Sun, 2009-12-13 at 13:45 -0800, Bambi TBNL wrote:
                  > Bambi (To be named later) TBNL


                  {chuckle}

                  "You are in the SCA. You have the right to remain modern. Should you
                  choose to give up this right, anything medieval you do can and will be
                  entered in an A&S display. If you want a name but cannot afford one, or
                  have not chosen one within a reasonable period of time, a name will be
                  appointed for you at no cost. Do you understand these rights?"

                  --
                  ()xxxx[]::::::::::::::::::> <::::::::::::::::::[]xxxx()
                  Maistor Justinos Tekton called Justin (Scott Courtney)
                  Gules, on a bezant a fleam sable and on a chief dovetailed Or two keys
                  fesswise reversed sable.

                  justin@... http://4th.com/sca/justin/
                • Labhaoise
                  One more to add, try your local, Salvation Army, Goodwill, church thrift.... Oh, first learn to identify fabric, patterns, and colors.... and dig through the
                  Message 8 of 18 , Dec 15, 2009
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                    One more to add, try your local, Salvation Army, Goodwill, church thrift.... Oh, first learn to identify fabric, patterns, and colors.... and dig through the piles.... Much of my kids garb(and they go through sizes quickly) are remade (VERY period) from other clothing...

                    Linen summer dresses are common, remember that linen does not take traditional dyes well... Period clothing was often remade to fit, redyed to match, passed down, saved, made from pieces of several other graments and garment dyes.... well you get the idea!

                    Rasberry was "in" a few years ago, I bought several wool skirts on dollar day, and POW!

                    Irish linen table cloths show up(it makes me cry to cut them, but it give you a feel for what you should be looking for.

                    Both Fabric dot com and fabric-store dot come have deals, watch for them. Think in terms of layering, your inner garment should be "white" linen, which isn't really white, PLEASE no optic white. you can get a sleeveless undertunic or "pants" from a yard or less, make enough that like your modern undies you can change them every day... One or two outer garments should do, oh, and length of wool for shawl or the like to keep you warm....

                    Back to the thrift shops, by the 12th century silk was available, YOU cannot aford yards and yards, but neither could they, most silk would be used to trim neck and sleeve.... Good trim will discuise a multitude of sins in your garb (NOT old floral bedsheets! but if you cannot get linen, you probably can find cotton that looks and feels close)

                    But first, pick your period and start looking at (original)artworks so you know what colors, styles, trims are right. Watch out for art presenting another period, art presenting religious themes, and modern presentations of what others think it is/was/should be.

                    You won't get perfect on your first try, you won't be a expert(well, probably not). Oh, and when you go to events, take LOTS of pics, then you can start to know what others are doing and why.

                    The goal is to be happy with your garb, feel like it looks good, feels good, moves correctly, FOR YOU.

                    IF you can also, feel fabric and say, this is silk not rayon, this is wool not poly blend, and understand that this isn't just a period difference but a comfort difference, you would be warm in a light wool gown in august, but in poly blend you will feel like you've been wrapped in saran wrap!
                    Labhaoise
                  • Labhaoise
                    You got it in ONE! EVERYTHING has been used somewhere sometime.... cotton is in use in the Med areas and into N Africa and Asia. Historically it was VERY labor
                    Message 9 of 18 , Dec 15, 2009
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                      You got it in ONE! EVERYTHING has been used somewhere sometime.... cotton is in use in the Med areas and into N Africa and Asia. Historically it was VERY labor intensive to produce, check out how linen is made and think!

                      BUT, SCA is mostly people presenting themselves as sorta some period, rank and privaledge. Yup, some go wild for hand loomed, plant dyed wool from my very own organic sheep, but then some go wild for the 18th century vision of the Mideaval period. (know one woman who looks like she stepped out of a specific painting from the romanitic period.)

                      That said, some things are in no way period. I am NOT saying don't use them. I personally own an fitted "corset" made from upholstry fabric. I love it but it is SO NOT period, Yep, I wear it.... My GD owns a bliut made of hideous pink paisley, lined with amazingly purple silk, and trimmed with gold drapery trimmings, you can see her coming a mile off, period, nope, well it trys, AND she is extremely happy with the effect.... That is what you are aiming for, not to please the period nazis, but to please yourself....

                      If it satisfies you to wear a one cut tunic made from used floral sheets topped with the most expensive upholstry corset you can find, well you have made an effort, AND YOU are gonna have fun....

                      Strut your stuff!

                      When you want more, and it sounds like you do, lots of good ideas here, and lots of good(and bad) websites on how to put it all together....

                      Never spend more than you want, never wear something because some expert, who may(probably is) wrong told you to do so.

                      SCA is not about reinactment, it's a fantasy, not the same one as say a Faire, but take what you need, listen to the respectful, and ignore the rest!
                      Labhaoise


                      Ziddinaaitzumar@... wrote:
                      > Yikes!  I like answer #2...   I think Branwyn Morgan [spelling??  not sure of name...] posted a comment in reply to my queries about wearing 'tea-stained' cotton as chemise fabic - just look back in the previously posted comments for something about "What chemises are made of" within the last two months - Branwyn referred me to a website that was extremely useful, and did indicate that cotton is totally period - later period, if I remember correctly...  You'll also notice the comment that cotton was used by wealthy people; you may not be able to afford much fabric right now, but your personas can be wealthy ....  [Don't know whether the bold/italics are coming thru...]  Zid
                    • Justinos Tekton called Justin
                      ... Now that is an interesting statement, at least to someone like me who is not a fabric maven. Can you elaborate a bit on this, for the benefit of the novice
                      Message 10 of 18 , Dec 16, 2009
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                        On Tue, 2009-12-15 at 16:08 +0000, Labhaoise wrote:
                        > Historically it was VERY labor intensive to produce, check out how
                        > linen is made and think!

                        Now that is an interesting statement, at least to someone like me who is
                        not a fabric maven.

                        Can you elaborate a bit on this, for the benefit of the novice sewing
                        folks like me? I know a little about cotton processing, but nothing at
                        all about linen.

                        Kind regards,

                        Justin

                        --
                        ()xxxx[]::::::::::::::::::> <::::::::::::::::::[]xxxx()
                        Maistor Justinos Tekton called Justin (Scott Courtney)
                        Gules, on a bezant a fleam sable and on a chief dovetailed Or two keys
                        fesswise reversed sable.

                        justin@... http://4th.com/sca/justin/
                      • Finnseach de Locheil/Judith Winner
                        Justinos Tekton called Justin wrote: [...] ... Linen processing is quite labor intensive. Once the flax is grown, it has to be harvested by hand - because it
                        Message 11 of 18 , Dec 16, 2009
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                          Justinos Tekton called Justin wrote:
                          [...]
                          >
                          > Can you elaborate a bit on this, for the benefit of the novice sewing
                          > folks like me? I know a little about cotton processing, but nothing at
                          > all about linen.

                          Linen processing is quite labor intensive. Once the flax is grown, it has to be
                          harvested by hand - because it is to be pulled up by the root. The plant stalks
                          are then stacked together /\ (kind of like that) to do the initial drying. Once
                          the plants have dried, they can be "rippled" to collect the seed pods for next
                          year's harvest. After rippling, the flax has to be "retted" to separate the
                          tough outer casing from the strands that eventually become linen threads. There
                          are two ways of retting - either in a pond (or stream) or "dew-ret" where the
                          plants are left on the ground to let the dew settle. The pond/stream retting is
                          the quicker way, although I've done dew-retting (takes about 6-8 weeks). Once
                          the retting process is done, the plants have to be dried again.

                          Once dry, the plants need to be pounded, scutched then heckled before they are
                          usable for spinning.

                          Penelope Walton Rogers explains the process more fully in her "Cloth and
                          Clothing in Early Anglo-Saxon England: AD 450-700" pages 17-21.

                          Finnseach
                          Dernehealde
                          --
                          "I'm buying this fleece/fiber now in case I have an emergency... you know,
                          sickness, flood, injury, mosquito infestations, not enough chocolate in the
                          house, it's Tuesday, I need it for my research project..." ;)
                        • Labhaoise
                          My understanding only.... First is the length of the staple(fiber), linen fibers are quite long, as much as four or five feet in length. Now, we CUT them to
                          Message 12 of 18 , Dec 16, 2009
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                            My understanding only....

                            First is the length of the staple(fiber), linen fibers are quite long, as much as four or five feet in length. Now, we CUT them to cotton lengths, so the same equipment can work it; historically worked as it came.. Cotton staple is short, modern no more than two inches, and that is by genetic selection for color, length, hand, and in optimal conditons.

                            Linen is a rough/sticky fiber, and "willingly" works into a thread, cotton is a smooth/ribbonlike fiber, and needs coaxing.

                            Linen uses the entire plant, yes, it has to be cut, rotted, beaten, etc... but it is pull the plant, and work, not to subject to pests and disease.... cotton uses only part of the seed pod, and can only be harvested at the end of a successful season, but plucking the bolls(seedpods) individually from within each thorny plant...

                            That being said, I would probably have stayed in old skins! With linen I always think, who figured all this out... cotton, I can see the lovely soft bolls, but it is like making something from milkweed!
                            Labhaoise

                            --- In scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com, Justinos Tekton called Justin <justin@...> wrote:
                            > Now that is an interesting statement, at least to someone like me who is
                            > not a fabric maven.
                            >
                            > Can you elaborate a bit on this, for the benefit of the novice sewing
                            > folks like me? I know a little about cotton processing, but nothing at
                            > all about linen.
                          • Stefan li Rous
                            Justin asked: ... Now that is an interesting statement, at least to someone like me who is not a fabric maven. Can you elaborate a bit on this, for the benefit
                            Message 13 of 18 , Dec 17, 2009
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                              Justin asked:

                              On Tue, 2009-12-15 at 16:08 +0000, Labhaoise wrote:
                              > Historically it was VERY labor intensive to produce, check out how
                              > linen is made and think!

                              Now that is an interesting statement, at least to someone like me who is
                              not a fabric maven.

                              Can you elaborate a bit on this, for the benefit of the novice sewing
                              folks like me? I know a little about cotton processing, but nothing at
                              all about linen.
                              -------------

                              In rough outline:
                              1) Clean stalks of debris.

                              2) Soak for a long time to soften the outer "skin."

                              3) Let dry.

                              4) Crush in a "flax break," which looks like a giant scissors-thing
                              of wood, several parallel "blades" that fit together like:

                              | | | |
                              | | | | |

                              5) Pick bits of stem out of flax and comb through very deadly-looking
                              and SHARP points of the "flax comb" fastened to the end of
                              the "flax break." DO NOT TOUCH POINTS! IT DOES DRAW BLOOD!

                              NOTE: Tangled stuff caught in the comb is called "tow," which is
                              where you get "tow-headed." It can be picked out and combed
                              also but is more work. I don't know if you can use it for
                              rope.

                              6) Place combed flax on distaff for spinning.

                              7) Repeat 4-6 as long as necessary, or until you are out of flax.

                              8) Spin fibre, using water to dampen fingertips and fibre so it
                              sticks together more easily.

                              9) Weave into fabric.

                              This is from the following file. There is more detailed information on
                              processing flax and linen and working with linen in this file.
                              linen-msg (60K) 1/16/08 Period and modern linen cloth.
                              Sources. Care
                              http://www.florilegium.org/files/TEXTILES/linen-msg.html

                              For even more detailed information on linen and flax, check some of
                              the books reviewed in this file such as:
                              "LINEN, HAND SPINNING AND WEAVING,
                              by Patricia Baines,
                              B.T. Batsford Ltd. London
                              4 Fitzhardinge Street
                              London W1H 0AH
                              First Published 1989
                              ISBN 0-934026-52-1
                              Distributed in North America by
                              Interweave Press, Inc.
                              306 North Washington Ave.
                              Loveland, Colorado 80537

                              This book has history, background, illustrations,
                              and copious information on everything from
                              growing, harvesting, processing, spinning, dyeing
                              and weaving flax into linen. I highly recommend it,
                              and personally don't know of a better book on this
                              subject."

                              Stefan
                              --------
                              THLord Stefan li Rous Barony of Bryn Gwlad Kingdom of Ansteorra
                              Mark S. Harris Austin, Texas StefanliRous@...
                              **** See Stefan's Florilegium files at: http://www.florilegium.org ****
                            • Bambi TBNL
                              actually I suppose  I should own up to my registered SCA name....sigh so here goes....your only gonna see it once on here anytime soon!! Lady  Maria Beatriz
                              Message 14 of 18 , Dec 20, 2009
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                                actually
                                I suppose  I should own up to my registered SCA name....sigh so here goes....your only gonna see it once on here anytime soon!!
                                Lady  Maria Beatriz la Mora aka Khalillah bint Temur
                                Companion of the PearlBambi (To be named later) TBNL


                                I am made for great things by GOD
                                and walk with Pride!!!!
                                Walladah bint al Mustakfi c 1100ad
                                see me dance
                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HMtOoXtMs0




                                ________________________________
                                From: Justinos Tekton called Justin <justin@...>
                                To: scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Tue, December 15, 2009 9:54:56 AM
                                Subject: Re: [SCA Newcomers] Fabric question...

                                 
                                On Sun, 2009-12-13 at 13:45 -0800, Bambi TBNL wrote:
                                > Bambi (To be named later) TBNL

                                {chuckle}

                                "You are in the SCA. You have the right to remain modern. Should you
                                choose to give up this right, anything medieval you do can and will be
                                entered in an A&S display. If you want a name but cannot afford one, or
                                have not chosen one within a reasonable period of time, a name will be
                                appointed for you at no cost. Do you understand these rights?"

                                --
                                ()xxxx[]:::: ::::::::: :::::> <::::::::::: :::::::[] xxxx()
                                Maistor Justinos Tekton called Justin (Scott Courtney)
                                Gules, on a bezant a fleam sable and on a chief dovetailed Or two keys
                                fesswise reversed sable.

                                justin@... http://4th.com/sca/justin/







                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Justinos Tekton called Justin
                                ... Um....wow. Translating the entire New Testament into Klingon, which I assume is what I am reading above because it contains the words Maria and
                                Message 15 of 18 , Dec 21, 2009
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                                  On Sun, 2009-12-20 at 11:19 -0800, Bambi TBNL wrote:
                                  > Maria Beatriz la Mora aka Khalillah bint Temur


                                  Um....wow. Translating the entire New Testament into Klingon, which I
                                  assume is what I am reading above because it contains the words "Maria"
                                  and "Khallillah", is a very impressive work of scholarship. :-)

                                  (Justin now runs -- quickly -- to duck behind the nearest cover!)

                                  --
                                  ()xxxx[]::::::::::::::::::> <::::::::::::::::::[]xxxx()
                                  Maistor Justinos Tekton called Justin (Scott Courtney)
                                  Gules, on a bezant a fleam sable and on a chief dovetailed Or two keys
                                  fesswise reversed sable.

                                  justin@... http://4th.com/sca/justin/
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