Dating fabric with egyptian motifs

Egypt holds the first rank in the production of Linen, both from the antiquity and extent of the trade, and naturally takes the first place, after Bible Linen, in an account of this ancient manufacture.

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He gives the first place to Abeston or Abestinem, (i.e.) incombustible Flax; the second to Byssus, which was of very fine and small fibre; and the third to the common Flax.He says that Byssus was extremely fine and dear, and none but rich and wealthy persons could afford to wear it, and also that it often received a purple dye, and served as an ornament to the ladies.The various processes employed in the preparation of the plant in Egypt are admirably depicted on the enduring walls of their ancient palaces, temples, and tombs, by the skilful hand of the artist.Drawings of the various implements employed; of the people in the act of sowing the seed; pulling the plant; carrying water to fill wooden vats, evidently for the purpose of steeping the Flax; putting it through the several processes requisite to produce the fiber; spinning it into yarn; and weaving the yarn into cloth, are all distinctly portrayed The several operations are delineated with a minuteness of detail and a beauty of coloring truly astonishing.Thanks to the dry pure air of that celebrated country, many of the sketches look as bright and fresh as if they had only yesterday got the last finishing touches from the artist, instead of having been painted from 2000 to 3000, and, in some instances, even 4000 years ago.

In Egypt, Flax is sown at the present time about the middle of November, in the plains which have been inundated by the Nile, and it is pulled in about 110 days.It is generally in the boll in February, and pulled in March.There is little change in the climate of that country since the earliest records, and it is therefore probable that seed time and harvest is the same now as it was in the days of the first of the Pharaons.The cultivation of the plant, the pulling and steeping, were all carried on very much as at present, and not very different from the mode practiced in this country.The scutching process appears to have been done by beating the straw with a mallet to break it and loosen the fiber, and then by driving off the shive with a knife, comb, or other instrument.After being scutched it was combed or heckled, to break open or split up the fibers and to remove the loose fibers or tow, after which it was ready for spinning.