Hemp processing at Wakelyns September 2022

Working the hemp straw by hand

To process our hemp straw to fibre ready for spinning we set about constructing traditional tools, learning from images of hemp processing in the 18th and 19th centuries. Family and community members used upcycled wood to make the breakers and scutching boards, we made the heckles from horse shoes nails and held them in a Black and Decca workmate, (not so 18th century).

On 17th September 2022 a party of friends, family and volunteers gathered to get the work done. All of us were novices at the task, but the sun shone and we had such a fun time! It was hard work but by end of day we had both a box of beautiful golden fibre and a great respect for the rural workers of days gone by.