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Reply #70: There's a reason why it was the first handspun fiber. [View All]

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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-27-07 06:48 PM
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70. There's a reason why it was the first handspun fiber.
The oldest evidence of spun fiber is ten thousand years old from a cave in France. Flax wasn't there yet--still growing mostly in Turkey. Hemp was. The look of the fibers was celluoid, so it was a plant, and hemp is the only one that fits the characteristics.

Hemp is an amazing fiber. It sheds dirt, so it bleaches and cleans up beautifully; it's amazingly strong, so it was used for thousands of years to make everything from shifts to sails; and it even takes dye decently (as opposed to flax), making it fun to do colorwork in, though that's a more recent development.

Great score!! I like to look for good textiles and hand-made items at estate sales, but I've never seen anything that nice. Next time, use Orvus paste to clean them (oxyclean sometimes breaks down fibers).
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