Tincloth, Tin cloth, Oilskin

Royal-Navy-wearing-oil-skins
1914-1918, UK woman wearing oilskin
1914-1918, UK woman wearing oilskin

Linseed for waterproof fabrics

Linseed oil has a long history in making waterproof fabrics often including tincloth and oil-skin.  Tincloth is a extra hard-wearing close woven fabric coated with a blend of linseed oil and beeswax. It is extremely waterproof and hard and was worn by miners of the Alaskan gold rush. More recently oilcloth was extensively used for weather resistant, waterproof clothing in WW1 and WW2.

Tincloth recipe:

Tincloth is made by mixing equal parts boiled linseed oil (you can use a raw oil but it will take longer to dry) and beeswax, heating it gently until it melts and combines. You can add a little turpentine to make it thinner and easier to apply. It is then used to coat the canvas by painting it on or dipping it, then the fabric is hung up to dry, preferably with direct sunlight.

Recommendation for using linseed for anxiety

The oceans' wildlife is conserved by use of sustainable linseed omega-3

“Flax Oil Cures Anxiety” from the EarthClinic website.

In a cutting from an unidentified newspaper passed to me by a Flax enthusiast: Sharon from the US reports that having increased her daily dose of linseed(flaxseed) oil that contained ground linseed particles (High Lignan Cold-pressed Flax [Linseed] Oil) her anxiety and adrenaline levels reduced Continue reading

Linsey woolsey, lincey or linsey

Flax drying for linen fibre

Linen warp and woollen weft threads

Linsey-woolsey (also called linsey and lincey) is a fabric made with linen warp and woolen weft threads. It was made between 16th to 19th centuries in England and America.  The wool gave the warmth to the fabric. It was popular with the poor. Primarily it was used for clothing including women’s dresses, various undergarments and bed hangings.

Bible forbids Wool and linen mix

Interestingly the Bible forbids this sort of fabric. Deuteronomy 22, Sundry laws, 11: “You shall not wear a material mixed of wool and linen together.”

The origins and history of linseed and flax

Field of linseed towards gate

The origins of the linseed and flax

Field of linseed in flower
Field of linseed in flower

Linum usitatissimum is just one species of the Linum family. Some are annuals others perennial.  The original ancestor of our domesticated flax and linseed  Linum biienne, was a little wild plant widely spread across Eurasia. It had delicate wiry stems and dainty blue flowers. Way back in history our ancestors  would have found linseed amazingly useful Continue reading

Culpeper’s Herbal: FLAX

Linseed is a Culpeper herbal remedy for constipation.

Flax (linseed) remedies from Culpeper’s Complete Herbal,

Culpeper herbal entry for flax (linseed) detail 1
Culpeper herbal entry for flax (linseed) detail 1

by Nicholas Culpeper, 1653

The entry for flax/linseed in interesting in many ways. Apart from nicely clarifying part of the relationship between flax and linseed; in those days they were growing flax for clothing and the seeds were really a by-product, but usually called linseed – even though they had come from “flax” plants.

Flax in 1653, as good then as it is now

His reference to using linseed for tumours and the use of linseed oil as clysters (enemas) has similarities with the Budwig Protocol.

Culpeper refers to it as useful, it’s Latin name, usiatissimum, means “useful”. Three and a half centuries later and linseed is still being used for treating the same complaints and we thought it was a new idea using linseed oil as a remedy for asthma!

Culpeper herbal entry for flax (linseed) detail 2
Culpeper herbal entry for flax (linseed) detail 2

Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, entry for flax/linseed:

FLAX.— (Linum Usiatissimum)

Time.— It flowers in June, the seed only is used.

Government and Virtues.— Mercury owns this useful plant. The seed, which is usually called linseed, is emollient, digesting, and ripening ; of great use against inflammations, tumours, and imposthumes, and is frequently out into formentations and cataplasms, for those purposes.  Cold-drawn linseed oil is of great service in all diseases of the breast and lungs, as pleurisies and peripneuemonia, coughs, and asthma and consumption.   It likewise helps the colic and stone, both taken by mouth, and given in clysters.   The oil, by expression, is the only official preparation.

 

Buy online: Culpeper’s Complete Herbal is available from Amazon

 

New Zealand Flax

New Zealand Flax, Phormium tenax

Phormium tennax:  New Zealand Flax 

Phormium tenax, New Zealand Flax
New Zealand Flax

New Zealand flax is completely unrelated to common flax and linseed. The fibre of it was used by the Maoris for weaving into coarse fabric, ropes, flooring and baskets but doesn’t have the fine quality of linen.

Outside New Zealand Phormium tennax  is grown as a garden plant. It is a perennial plant. The original species is huge growing up to ten feet but there are also many small cultivars and hybrids. Continue reading

Linseed: flax and its other names

Field of ripe linseed and seedheads

Linum usitatissimum

Linseed, traditional bronze linseeds
Linseed, traditional bronze linseeds

Linseed was one of the first plants cultivated by man probably around 10,000 years ago and has been widely grown throughout the temperate zones. Consequently if has developed a lot of different names.

Its scientific name is Linum usitatissimum, meaning “the most useful linum” referring to its uses from food, medicine, beauty products, Continue reading

Remove foreign substance from the eye

Hazel-green-eye
Linseeds used for cough remedy
Linseeds used for cough remedy

How to get something out of your eye

Using linseed to get grit and other particles out of the eye

This is brilliant. Within days of reading about it I found myself with a bit of grit in my eye. I followed the instructions below and it worked a treat. Quite amazing and so easy! Continue reading

Linnet

Linnets
Linnet, the bird that hovers above linseed. Page from the Complete Book of British Birds
Linnets.  Page from the Complete Book of British Birds

Linnet: the linseed bird

The English name “linnet” derives from French meaning “the bird that hovers above linseed” (or flax the crop which produces linen and linseed). The linnet is a bird of the countryside and agricultural fields. They are mainly brown in colour, the males have  distinctive red markings on the head and breast.  The linet’s scientific name Carduelis cannabina comes from its fondness of another oilseed, hemp. Continue reading

Liquorice and linseed cough medicine recipes

liquorice and linseed ingredients for traditional cough medicine remedy
Nicholas Culpeper, 17th century herbalist
Nicholas Culpeper, 17th century herbalist

Traditional liquorice and linseed  cough medicine

Linseed as a natural remedy for coughs goes way back in time. It was already a standard remedy when Nicolas Culpeper wrote his herbal in 1653 and is still a component of commercially produced cough medicines. We still get testimonials from people using linseed to cure their coughs. Continue reading