Skein #16 Flax Fine Smooth Yarn, Wet Spun

259.5 m 28 g 9250 m/kg
15.5 w/cm 39.5 w/in
Size Determination: Fine


Reason for choice of this sample
This line flax is easily available


Preparation for spinning
The tow from combing the strick was combed again to recover the long fibers

Equipment used
Wool card, flyer spinning wheel

Type of spinning
Short forward draft

Direction of Twist

Number of plies

Wet blocked

Suggested uses
Weft for medium-weight fabrics, such as for an everyday work shirt or a tablecloth. With proper care it can be used for decades, getting softer with use and laundering. This yarn can be sized and used as warp, although few modern handweavers will work with single linen warps.


Maximum 54 points

Examiner 1: 40
Examiner 2: 37

Nobody liked my flax, because it isn't "scoured." I looked at a lot of sources, I don't recall Fannin mentioning it and there was not even a suggestion from Alden Amos, a man who knows flax. I searched online and found one reference to another competition that said linen yarns should have the twist set but nothing more. My own experiments showed that even just gentle washing destroys the prized smooth, hard surface of the yarn. Gwen Powell, another successful COE applicant, washed hers but did not boil. I have read about people who do, but that's about it. My research from historic textiles shows that most processing was done after the fabric was constructed, not in the yarn. I see references to laundering fabric in stale urine and whitening it by laying it out in the sun, but always fabric. Hardly anybody spins flax by hand anymore, so there aren't a lot of people talking about their techniques.

Both said it was nice spinning, but I still lost a lot of points on all of these.