In the late 1700s flax growing was an important part of the economy of Cavan, in the area where we live most small farms grew flax, they pulled and retted the fibre before taking it to a mill to be scutched. The fibre was then taken back to the farm where it was combed and finally spun into linen thread by the female members of the families.
When spun the linen thread was brought to market where it was sold for weaving into linen fabric. In both our families there are records of flax growing, in 1796 on the flax growers list my family were growing flax in Co Longford and in the 1821 census for Cavan four members of Alan’s family are listed as flax spinners. In 2019 we planted our first patch of flax which we taken through the process and started to spin. Our crop for 2020 is now planted and growing, this is a project we plan to continue on a yearly basis.