Experiment in Linen

I wanted to try working with linen again.  The last time I wove with linen threads was at least ten years ago, and while I ended up with some pretty nice tea towels. I remember many people saying linen was a cantankerous fibre to work with.  But oh, such a beautiful fabric, with great lustre and feel.

I decided to work on a series of handwoven linen scarves.  I envision linen as a beautiful cool fabric for summer scarves.

For the first two scarves, I used Euroflax linen, in 14/2 lace weight from Louet. The cost is $25.00 per 100 gm cone, and I used one cone of natural, and one cone of caribou for two scarves.

For drama, I wound 4 inches of natural, and 4 inches of caribou, warp length 5 yards and sett at 12 ends per inch for a more open weave.

For the first scarf, I wove 12” in natural, 12” in one-inch wide stripes alternating colours, 24” in two rows natural, two rows caribou, 12” in alternating one inch wide stripes, then 12” in caribou.  Simple plain weave, beautiful results.

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For the second scarf I used a clasped weft technique, 12 inches where the natural thread was pulled past the centre line to give a clear natural block, with mixed colours on the caribou side, then the middle 60 inches where the threads were alternately pulled to the natural side, then the caribou side, and the final 12 inches where a clear caribou block was achieved.

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I had no problems at all working with the linen thread.

To finish, I washed in hot water in the machine, which made the scarves extremely wrinkled.  I hard pressed when damp to remove the wrinkles.  The fabric was very crisp.  I then threw the scarves in the dryer for 10 minutes with a fabric softener sheet, and the scarves came out with a soft hand.  For linen, repeated washing/pressing/drying will increase the softness over time.

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9 Responses to Experiment in Linen

  1. Linda Meneghello says:

    these are absolutely beautiful–nice work Barb

  2. Vicki says:

    Wow. Barb that really is a stunning piece of work. Good for you.

  3. KerryCan says:

    These are beautiful–so elegant in their understated way! I worked with linen for the first time at Vavstuga and was relieved not to have problems. I love linen but had heard so much about how finicky it is. Now I’m ready to try more!

    • Thanks, Kerry, I plan to try a few more linen scarves, but with a finer linen. Fingers crossed, it will be just as easy. I saw your post about your time at Vavstuga, and would love to go there as well.

  4. Barbara Scott says:

    Exquisitely lovely.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  5. The clasped weft scarf is stunning. I’ve never thought is using linen for a scarf. Yours show this is another fiber to explore.

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