Crocodiles & The Flax Hackle
When I thought about ancient Egypt, the first things that came to mind were the desert and sacred alligators. Dry and sandy, short and snappy. It wasn't quite an accurate picture of Egyptian culture.
Yes, most ancient Egyptians lived very close to the river and avoided the desert, except for King Tut's highly unpopular grandfather. Check. However, the Nile actually has crocodiles, not alligators. Oops.
What Egypt actually had and exported on a massive level was flax linen. Linen is a light, sturdy, and easy-to-dry fabric that excels in dry climates, like the arid Egyptian desert. It wrinkles terribly, so I don't know how well the sacred crocodiles liked it, but local Egyptian spinners literally turned flax into gold by making and exporting mountains of linen.
Apologies in advance: we're fresh out of crocodiles. However, after we did some prototyping, you can get started on your mountain of linen, too! The new flax hackle is available in the shop.
The flax hackle features more rows of smaller nails than a traditional wool hackle. Without that close spacing, the flax would slide through and wouldn't fluff up at all. Then the fabric would be poky AND wrinkly, as well as much more difficult to work with.
If you're assembling at home, you'll need 10d 3" Bright Finish nails and a hammer. There are 122 holes, which means two boxes of finishing nails. The holes for the nails are recessed, so when you gently tap them into place, the heads should be flush with the table. If any come loose, secure them with a little bit of super glue. You can also add the desert, if you want an Egyptian flavor, but I'd steer away from the crocodiles.
As always, the files are available for free personal use via Thingiverse, and you're welcome to print your own. These pictures are with bronze filament and feature the hackle without nails.
Other fibers that might be great for these hackles could include nettle and milkweed. Milkweed grows ubiquitously where we love, and I'd love to do a forage fiber harvest sometime this fall.
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Joseph & Aubrey Bjork