[Ansteorra] RE: period line question

Wendy Freeman/Otte wyllowmacm at netscape.net
Tue Oct 8 07:09:36 PDT 2002

I ran across a reference to linen being bleach by rubbing the meat of a common English nut (almonds? hazels? Sigh...and I'm at work) over it.  My reference is from a book called "Brother Cadfael's Garden" (No snickers!  Despite the fact that it was initiated by the well-known fiction series, it is actually a good secondary source that uses primary sources extensively.)  I have not tried it, since I usually attempt to color fibers, not bleach it.
By the way - one reason for white linen is that it does not take dyes well, using medieval mordants.  You can get a pastel, but not much more - with one exception: blue. Woad/indigo dyes work differently, and will coat the linen fiber.  Think blue-jean color - same dye.

Otherwise, white was the easiest color to keep linen.
--H.L. Wyllow MacMuireadhaigh of the Loch

>Date: Sun, 06 Oct 2002 23:10:12 -0500
>To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org
>From: "Adrienne R. Ferrell" <aferrell at texas.net>
>Subject: [Ansteorra] Re period line question
>Reply-To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org
>[ Picked text/plain from multipart/alternative ]
>Dear Erasmus,
>   White linen is period, and pre period...back to ancient times.  They
>bleached the linen in the sun.  If you use chorine bleach on linen or silk
>it will turn it yellow.
>For the history of linen see: http://peggynickles.com/historyoflinen.html
>or at : http://my-scarf.com/Info/The%20Yarns/Linen/Linen%20History.htm
>see an sample of  Egyptian Linen 1st Dynasty at :
>So far the best price I've found for linen has been in Dallas at the fabric
>stores on Perth and Harry Hines.  I found linen for $2-$4 a yard.  But when
>I was there last week they didn't have any white.  I usually wait to JoAnne
>Fabrics has a sale, or a 50% off coupon.  I have even found a
>linen/silk  blend at Joanne on clearance, take an additional % off - it
>came to $1.67 a yard. The best time for clearance priced linen is the fall.
>The best selection is the spring. I have an e mail address for linen from
>Yugoslavia, but to make it worth while (postage) you need a very large order.
>>Message: 12
>>From: "0zy Adams" <ozyadams at hotmail.com>
>>To: <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>
>>Date: Sun, 6 Oct 2002 10:35:30 -0500
>>Subject: [Ansteorra] period linen question.
>>Reply-To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org
>>When you see white shirts in late period documentation, are they white as we
>>know it (bleached) or are they more like what we refer to as "natural" linen
>>Also, does anybody have any good linen sources these days?
>>-Ritter Erasmus

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