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Flax Heckle
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Title: Flax Heckle
Identifier: 2000.1.1
Donor: Richard Parker
Item Date: 1850-1900
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: An oval wooden shaped flax heckle with metal spikes. The base is an oval piece of wood with a hole in each end. There are eleven rows of metal spikes with five spikes in each row. The spikes are 3 cm thick and go through to the back of the base. The spikes are hand made and there is some surface rust on a few of them. The wood is painted black and is worn along edges.

This flax heckle was part of Richard Parker's collection of antiques related to his interest in textiles.

Mr. Richard Parker was a travelling textile sales man. He sold material for clothes, billiard tables and upholstery. He lived at 1276 Mississauga Road for over 40 years. He had a bedroom office at this house which he worked from until the age of 86. He was originally from Willowdale moving to Mississauga in the 70's with his wife and five children.

A heckle is a tool used in the textile trade to comb or tease out flax fibres. Flax is used to make linen. Heckling helped to grade the fibres. “Tow” or the short fibres were used for coarse linen and long fibres were used for fine linen. After heckling, tow would be carded before spinning but long fibres were made into twists for spinning. _http://www.1771.org/ev_spin_dye.htm_
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