Flax and Linen by Patricia Baines.
Patricia Baines literally wrote the book on growing flax, processing it and working it into linen thread and fabric. Unfortunately, that book is now difficult to find and increasingly expensive. This little publication is a very condensed version of Baines' "Linen". If you're wanting to learn to grow flax, ret it, spin it and weave it, you'll need to find "Linen," but if you're looking for an overview about growing and processing flax and a history of how linen has been spun and woven over the centuries, this will work for you.
The Book of Fine Linen invites us to enter the elegant world of heirloom household fabrics, their use and manufacture, their embellishment and care. In her lively thematic treatment, Françoise de Bonneville presents countless fibers and materials as both quintessential examples of the weaver's art and unusually revealing testaments of the history of daily life.
Making extensive use of household inventories, diaries, and colorful details and anecdotes describing domestic arrangements, the author has examined centuries of textile history. She discusses the origins and symbolism of the trousseau, lovingly assembled over the course of many years by young women and their mothers and ceremoniously handed over to the young couple on their wedding day. Traditions of caring for linens, which occupied incredible amounts of women's time and expertise before the invention of the washing machine, are explored, as are methods of growing and weaving natural fibers such as cotton, linen and silk. Fabulous embroidery techniques and designs from Europe and America are also superbly illustrated and carefully explained.
A fascinating text is supplemented by a rich array of visual material drawn from archival photographs, vintage advertisements, old department store catalogues, and splendid paintings, as well as original photography commissioned especially for this volume in extraordinary textile collections, private homes, and the weaving and embroidery workshops of great contemporary manufacturers.
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