How to Weave Flax

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Flax weaving was first practiced by the ancient Egyptians who made all their clothes from flax linen, and also dressed their dead in thousands of strips of flax linen to afford them protection by the goddess Tait. Clothes for the living were woven and dyed colors or just left plain white. Weaving flax into linen was a very long, tedious, but important job, which was hard on the weaver who often had to bribe the doorkeeper with food just to let him out for a breath of fresh air. Weaving flax may be done with or without a loom, depending on what you want to weave. A loom is required to make linen for clothes, sheets and rugs, as the threads are many and must be packed for a tight weave.

Things You'll Need

  • Flax leaves
  • Blunt knife
  • Learn the basics of weaving. Stationary threads going up and down are called warp, and the threads that get inter-woven going across are called weft. When warp and weft are woven together, they're called weave and may be made into a variety of items depending on how thick the material. Sheets and tablecloths and light curtains are made from finely woven linen; whereas rugs, tapestries and mats are made from thick material for durability.

  • Take long flax leaves and tear each one into equal sized strips. Take a blunt knife and scrape it behind the flax leaf strips the entire length, holding it in place with your thumb. This is done to soften the leaves to make them more pliable and also to remove some of the moisture to help dry the item and prevent mold from forming.

  • Take the outer left strip on one flax leaf, and weave it through the other strips, in an under and over pattern.Turn the piece around with the loose end to your left and weave that piece through the strips to the right in an under and over pattern---weave.

  • Repeat the process until all the leaves have been interwoven and you end up with a saucer-like item. Place your new item in a warm, dry place to cure.

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