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By Fiona McDonald

The social historical past in the back of stylish fabrics - and the way they obtained their name.

summary: The social background in the back of trendy fabrics - and the way they acquired their identify

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Flanders enters the field We might note here that across the English Channel at a similar time another country was busy raising sheep for wool. This potential rival was Flanders. It too offered excellent grazing for sheep with its low lying coastal plains that were not particularly good for general agriculture such as the growing of crops. However, even with such good pasture it was generally accepted that Flanders didn’t produce such fine fleeces as the English did. For some time the two countries developed a largely parallel industry.

Flax plants also bear fruit, round dry cases containing several glossy brown seeds. Originally flax grew wild from the East Mediterranean all the way to India and in some parts of South America. Other varieties of flax include Silene Lineold which grows well in the colder parts of Europe and Silene Linicola identified as the variety grown in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Flax in China In China the first plant fibre to be cultivated for its use as a textile product was not flax but hemp, predating the use of silk (which was always kept for more luxurious costly items).

155. CHAPTER THREE Animal Fibres Wool Wool, the warm, insulating coat grown by members of the Caprinae family, is a protein fibre. Each single hair is made up of a medulla, cortex and cuticle. The medulla is the core of the hair and is fundamental to wool’s famous insulating properties The cortex is the component of the fibre that creates a crimp effect when it is subjected to heat and moisture. This is because the cortex is made up of two separate parts that work differently under these conditions The cuticle is covered in scales, situated around the base of the fibre’s core.

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