This article appeared in the 'Craigie Column' of Dundee Courier newspaper on 19th May 2005. The Webmaster is grateful to the author, Mr. Innes Duffus of Dundee, Scotland, for permission to reproduce his piece.
Since we published the piece from Mr. Innes Duffus, archivist to the Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee, about heckling, several people have asked him about the other terms he mentioned in the weaving of flax. He has kindly supplied the following explanation.
"Flax was harvested by pulling the plant complete with roots, from the ground. It was not cut and harvested like cereal crops. It was then allowed to dry in the field then taken in bundles for 'rippling'. Rippling was the removal of the seed. Two men at either end of a long board, in the middle of which was fixed a 'rippling caemb', did this. The comb looked like a big hairbrush with wooden, or later iron, teeth. It was hard. monotonous work, one man on each side striking alternately. The flax would then be tied into bundles and taken for steeping (soaking) in pools of stagnant water (lint pots) or backwaters in the burn. The purpose of this 'retting' was to let the outer woody part of the flax separate from the inner fibres. This process lasted at least a week. There were regular arguments with the landowners who believed, wrongly, that the flax would poison the water and ruin the fishing.
LOCAL INTEREST ¤
FAMILY HISTORY INTEREST ¤
NEWBIGGING INTEREST ¤
ARLENE'S LISTS ¤
LOCAL BUSINESS ¤
'DOWN THE AGES'
CHURCH PAGES ¤ CHURCH MAGAZINE ¤ OLD BOOK EXTRACTS ¤ STIRLING SURNAME ¤ MONIKIE MEMORIAL HALL ¤ 'THE MONIKIE STORY'
WEB PAGES LIST ¤ SEARCH THIS WEBSITE ¤ HOMEPAGE ¤ CONTACT & EMAIL
Please press the BACK BUTTON for your previous page.
This page was updated - 09 December, 2014