Got some test tiles done using both flax and hemp and a bio based resin - the flax needed very little processing so hoping we can find a market for these.
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Is there potential to restore the linen industry or should we look to new materials - biocomposites?
This is the very roughest fibre that we get from the flax - it's the stuff that gets all tangled up and doesn't even make it to the retting tank. We tried it through a carding machine and got some quite nice matting, we also had a go with some chopped hemp and some nettles that we'd retted. The
We went to a conference on Thursday hosted by Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering (NIACE). There were around 50 delegates and I'd guess around 15 were from composite companies. The topic was sustainability so the talk was around: How to make composites that are fully biodegradable
Now that we have capability to scutch fibre crops our biggest challenge is spinning if we want to make textiles from flax or nettles. Donegal Yarns have been doing some work with hemp blends so that one is a bit easier. There are currently no spinning mills for flax in the UK or Ireland. But what
We've spent four year restoring an old Mackies scutching turbine. It was last in action in the 1980's in a mill in Coagh. It's been like a giant jigsaw puzzle but we've had fun figuring it all out. We had a real breakthrough a few weeks ago when Charlie realised that we'd positioned part of the m
We did it! Every year we can't wait to get stuck in - there is something mesmerising and meditative about flax pulling. We pitch the tent and enjoy a few nights under the stars - bliss. Then about 4 or 5 days in we start to despair - the task seems monumental and we think we will never get there.
This video was produced by the NI Science Festival last year - chatting about our efforts to get the supply chain back for processing flax - below it is a short vid of the machine actually going - unfortunately we broke a belt shortly after it but we managed to find the company who designed the mach
Innovate UK have funded a Field to Fabric project looking at the potential to grow nettles for textiles. Nettles have been used for textiles for centuries - Mary Queen of Scots preferred nettle for her undergarments (apparently). Innovate UK are great for supporting projects that are a little bit
For the past 4 years we've been growing flax with the aim of making linen. It's dead easy to grow - stick it in and leave it alone. We were a bit naive - we didn't realise there were 13 stages in the processing but we are gradually working to get the supply chain gaps filled in. We've been sharin
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