Last Saturday I had the opportunity to spend the day with my BAR friends at the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, CT. It was a positively glorious day! May I once again extol the joys of handsewing -- I made tremendous progress on my shift on Saturday. Since this kind of sewing just requires good light and only a handful of brain cells, it's perfect work to do when sitting and visiting with friends. By the way, the gores are all done and I'm ready to start getting the sleeves sewn. I'll post pictures next week.
While enjoying the lovely landscape around the Hale Homestead, it brought to mind an important part of the linen production process. After linen was woven it was still a brown color --to whiten it, the sheets were washed and laid out in fields for months to be bleached by the sun, weather and chlorophyll from the grass. Now a days linen is bleached through a chemical process, but no doubt the Copps family shift's linen was bleached in a field.
Here are a few pictures of bleaching fields....
|Bleaching Ground in Countryside new Haarlem - van Rusidael c 1670|
|Ireland early 20th century|
So if you wash your shift on a sunny day, don't put it in the dryer. Just lay it out right on the grass in the sunshine to dry. (but not under a bird feeder ;)
Your humble and obedient servant,