I have not seen slubs in old linen thread that made the very fine laces. In
fact, I believe it is the extremely long staple of the linen that made it
capable of being spun so thin. Jean suggests that it may be due to the hand
processing of the flax that makes the difference, as opposed to industrial
processing, which I think is true. Someone once told me that they chop up the
linen so it will be easier to feed it into the industrial spinning machines.)
But I think it goes even farther in that at a time when very fine flax was a
very expensive commodity with a ready market, labor intensive cultivation
methods, including selecting the longest staple plants for the seed for the
following year were economically worthwhile. Some people think that if there
was a demand, the flax of the present could be “bred back” to the quality
of the flax at that time. Also other phases of the processing like the
retting, would merit different and more labor intensive processing if there
was an economic upside to it.
I actually find it interesting that there is current excitement for and
celebration of “micro fibers” while the naturally based micro fibers of
old do not find a market.

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