Flax Process - Christian demonstrates the scutching wheel, a high-tech version of the single, hand-held scutching knife invented in Scotland in the mid-eighteenth century. Its eight blades are put into a revolving wheel powered with a foot treadle. Such wheels were typically owned by professional flax dressers who, like modern combine operators in the Mid West, went farm to farm processing flax for a fee. http://flaxforsale.com/html/flax_process.html
Here is the most common form of a antique tape loom you will see for sale. A simple country piece, this was gripped between the knees and .
Hand breaker on flax. Retting flax is a delicate business, she tells me. Too short a time in the field is no issue, as it can be put out again, but too long in the field can mean brittle fiber which cannot be reversed. Timing is everything and we keep a close eye on the field.