The three acres off flax has now been pulled by hand, tied into beets and dried. We've brought it all into barns on the farm where it will stay until it is time for for it to be retted.
You can see a time lapse of the whole growing period and harvest below. The sheep at the end belong to a neighbour...Luckily we had everything out of the field before they came to visit! The entire process of growing and harvesting took around 100 days but there are many more stages involved in processing flax before it becomes linen.
As the flax dries, it changes colour to a beautiful gold. At this stage we remove the seed heads in a process called rippling. Charlie made a handy tool we use for rippling and the seeds can be replanted or used to make oil and polish.
We then use a machine called a barley bruiser to remove the seeds (winnowing). The next step is to separate the seeds from the crushed seed heads (chaff). We do this by either passing everything through sieves or blowing air around it (from fans or outdoors) to remove the chaff. The seeds can then be collected after they fall onto a sheet on the ground.
Follow us on Instagram or Facebook @mallonlinen to see more of our journey to restart the tradition of growing flax in Ireland.