A love letter to linen

A love letter to linen

Spinning flax into linen isn't something that I do very often—but I've often dreamed of the things I could make with this age-old fiber. I love the qualities of linen. I love that it starts as a spindly, delicate flower that is stronger than it looks; I love that it is stronger when it is wet; I love that it gets softer as it ages; I love that it has hydroscopic qualities (meaning that it absorbs water quickly—keeping you cool in the summer), as well as being hygienic (it resists bacteria—that's why it was used for medical bandages until disposable bandages became the norm). My wardrobe is populated by linen—I love my linen pants, dresses, skirts, and shirts—not yet handspun by me (but a few I've sewn). Perhaps someday my spinning will be that ambitious—it is good to dream.

However, I think this summer I'm going to try to fulfill a dream that started when my Aunt Deb (who nurtured my love of textiles when I was a child), went to Sweden and brought me back the most humble and yet beautiful linen washcloth. I dream about spinning and weaving more of them—eventually having a whole closet full of handspun linens.

For our new free eBook A Guide to Spinning Flax: Linen Spun from Flax Fibers, we've collected some articles from past issues of Spin-Off to share with you. In rereading them, my love of flax and linen is revitalized. I'm ready to sow seeds in my garden, to set up a distaff, and to spin a useful and enduring yarn that will delight me for ages. Maybe my Swedish-inspired washcloths will be woven with handspun flax from my own garden.

Happy spinning,

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