Winding Bobbins in Linen Mill, Montreal, Canada

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Linen is a cloth made of the fibers of flax. We find mention of linen clothes and of flax in our earliest writings. In some of the dwellings of the ancients that have been unearthed, bundles of flax have been discovered. At present, flax is cultivated for its seed and for its fibers. Most of the flax grown in the United States and in India is raised for its seed. From the seed, is extracted oil used in paints, oilcloth, and linoleum. In Russia, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Italy, Scotland, and Ireland Flax is grown for its fiber. Nearly all the flax that is used in making clothes is grown in Europe. Russia produces 80% of it. Full-grown flax has a slender, straight stem about waist high. When it is to be used for its fiber, it is cut before it is ripe. The flax is pulled, tied in bundles, and the seeds are pulled off. Then the bundles are laid in piles, are retted, or rotted, until the woody portion is decayed. This outer, woody part is taken off by hand, or run through scutching machines. The freed fibers are then tied into bundles and shipped to spinning and weaving mills. The first process in the weaving is to heckle the fibers. In this process the long fibers are combed from the short fibers. Then the fibers are sorted and coiled into bundles known as slivers. After the fibers have been drawn to the proper length, they are placed in the roving machine here shown. You see the hanks of roving hanging on the right. The woman on the left is placing one of the hanks in the mill on a spindle. From these spindles the thread is wound on the bobbins. You see thousands of these bobbins on the top of the machine. The white ones are wound with thread. The dark ones are empty. Keystone ID: 20927 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
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