Sizing the Linen Warp

Because of the troubles I had with the wool fraying more than expected I am very sure that I am going to have problems with the linen, which is notorious for it.  To help combat this, I am sizing the warp to increase it’s strength.

I haven’t been able to find any hard evidence of what sizing would have been used in period, I’ve opted to go with linseed.  My assumption is that if they had access to the flax fibre, they would probably also have access to the seeds.

After searching around on the internet it seems a common formula is eight parts water to one part seeds, heated until the mixture has a consistency between coffee cream and egg white.  After 30 minutes, I had what was closer to a very runny hair gel, and stopped there.

Sizing

The sizing mixture. The dark colour is from the brown flaxseeds in the bottom.

After straining I dipped my warp chains in the mixture.  Boy oh boy what a goopy mess!  I wrung them out as best I could and hung them up to dry.

Drying

The warp chains hanging to dry.

Once dry I will warp up the loom as usual, and weave using a temple to help even out the draw in.

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