Processing Hemp Fibre

At Avacal September Crown event in early September I took a class on how to process hemp for fibre. The same techniques work for flax (linen) and nettle. The class was taught by Mistress Kataryna Tkach (her SCA name), who in her mundane life works with legal, licenced hemp for scientific study. Luckily, she has access to the “waste” plant material for fibre production and experimentation!

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Medieval Suspended Spinning using Distaffs

Master spinner demonstrates how to dress a medieval-style cone distaff with flax (linen)

Dressing a cone-shaped distaff with flax

While at Avacal September Crown (a SCA event) I took a class on using a distaff for suspended spinning. I didn’t quite get the idea behind suspended spinning (it kind of made my hand hurt pretty quickly) but I did enjoy using the distaff to control the fibre for spinning.

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More fabric shopping…

… I just really need to find time to sew!

Lightweight white linen from https://www.fabric.com/

Lightweight white linen from https://www.fabric.com/

One of the online fabric stores I’ve used before sometimes has good prices on linen. I don’t often shop there if stuff is on regular price, but a while back I saw they had lightweight linen on for about $4/yard – they only had 19 yards, and I bought all 19 yards!

I think that this is the same lightweight linen I have used in the past to line my red and gold Italian gown, the black and gold brocade Italian overdress, lined the skirt to my green Italian petticoat, and made a navy Viking underdress with.  (Probably a few more things too). White linen will be even MORE versatile I bet – since I’ll be able to dye it too if I need a certain colour.

Celebration – Italian camicia

Cheeky selfie in my new linen camicia. The linen is so fine, you can see the shadows of my other garments under it.

Cheeky selfie in my new linen camicia. The linen is so fine, you can see the shadows of my other garments under it.

I originally intended to make an Italian camicia to go with my Italian costume, but ended up running out of time so did a makeshift version in cotton instead.

I opted to FINALLY finish the Italian camicia (shift, underdress, chemise) that I started a year and a half ago for the costume I was making for the elevation of Caterina to the Order of the Laurel. I had intended to do this entirely by hand, but after doing four of the shortest seams by hand, I was frustrated with how long it took, so I decided to switch to the invisible/interior stitching done by machine. All of the seams are finished with a French seam, which I hope will suitably support the thin gauze fabric.

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