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Thread: hemp

  1. #1
    Junior Member pinot's Avatar
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    Does anybody know if it would be possible for the pioneers wearing skirts made out of hemp? Or was it just cotton and wool?
    I've been reading the Little House on the Prairie books but they don't mention something like that, just calico and knitted underwear.
    I am very curious, thanks for reading, Pinot

  2. #2
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    I've only heard of hemp ropes and baskets.
    I found this when I googled hemp:

    http://www.harbay.net/history.html

    Fabrics made from hemp and flax were called linen.

  3. #3
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    I dont know either -seems like it could be true -hemp is supposed to be very strong and durable - only negative connantation is modern society believing it to be the same as marijuana ( which is not true).

  4. #4
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    I'm not sure pioneers had the means to make thread, then cloth, from hemp. You can find hemp clothing pretty easily now days online.

  5. #5
    Senior Member barking-rabbit's Avatar
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    Linsey-woolsey is a coarse fabric, most common in the United States during the Colonial era, but also among the lower classes in England for the past few hundred years.

    Linsey-woolsey, in its English incarnation, is a hand-woven twill with a linen warp thread and a woolen weft. Linsey-woolsey is a combination of the words linen and woolen. It is also referred to in the English vernacular as “wincey” or “stuff.” Charlotte Bronte refers to a traveling dress made of “black stuff” in her novel Jane Eyre.

    In the Colonies, linsey-woolsey was often made with a linen warp and a woolen weft, and later with a cotton warp, which resulted in a sturdy fabric



    that didn’t use as much precious wool. It was an important fabric, and was used for clothing, blankets and even needlework fabric! Although a warm and sturdy fabric, linsey-woolsey was not an attractive fabric. However, in Colonial America, warm and sturdy were the desirable characteristics, not looks.

    For such a fabric, making linsey-woolsey was a labor-intensive process. The flax had to be hand-stripped and carded, and both the wool and flax had to be spun into yarn. The fabric was then woven by hand, as well. The linen warp thread was usually strong and consistent, which made a good framework for the more variable wool weft threads.

  6. #6
    Super Member redkimba's Avatar
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    a good board for asking that question is http://thesewingacademy.org/

    you will have to define "pioneer period" for me to answer that question.

  7. #7
    Junior Member pinot's Avatar
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    It was very interesting to read everything on the site you gave me. French bank notes are still made from hemp. I have seen fields of canabis plants when we were driving in this region and comming from Holland we didn't understand that at all!! We thought this was all for making ropes. This morning I bought a very old skirt made out of hemp. It is very heavy and I think it was very unpleasant to wear (itchy!)
    Quote Originally Posted by bj
    I've only heard of hemp ropes and baskets.
    I found this when I googled hemp:

    http://www.harbay.net/history.html

    Fabrics made from hemp and flax were called linen.

  8. #8
    Junior Member pinot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redkimba
    a good board for asking that question is http://thesewingacademy.org/

    you will have to define "pioneer period" for me to answer that question.
    I suppose that would be late 1800, early 1900.....
    I will have a look at the board. Thanks so much.

  9. #9
    Junior Member pinot's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody for your answers. This morning I went to a "brocante" here in Burgundy and bought a hemp shirt for 2 euro's. It's realy old and worn out, simply made and I love it. Wouldn't wear it though because it's very heavy and corse but the idea of using plants to make a fibre is so interesting. I am a wool spinner too and I have a loom. I like to make my own felt and of course quilt a lot!
    Thanks again everybody!! Pinot

  10. #10
    Super Member redkimba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinot
    I suppose that would be late 1800, early 1900.....
    I will have a look at the board. Thanks so much.
    for late Victorian, try http://trulyvictorian.com/

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