hackling-pins Lisburn Virtual MuseumAfter scutching, the process of breaking the long, dry flax plant down and separating the fibrous part of the plant from the stems (or shoves), the flax was hackled. Using a hackling comb, the long pins were brushed through the flax, removing any short fibres. The long, smooth flax, known as line flax, was ready to spin into yarn. The excess material was known as tow, and could be used to produce rope and coarse linen goods.

Our expert guides explain the entire process everyday in our Flax to Fabric exhibition.  Valerie discussed the process in great detail here.