Switching to the new crop in hackling
Like for scutching, starting to hackle a new crop needs to understand what the new crop characteristics are: assessing the scutched fiber that will be hackled is therefore the first step.
Knowing the crop range of fiber types is essential: to produce specific hackled types, the hackling department needs to get the corresponding specific scutched types. In some cases, the crop will not bring those types of fiber. Therefore, a large terroir(with some flax fibers coming from the coast and some others coming from the interior land) is an advantage so as to get a larger range of fibers. Keeping some stocks from one crop to another also contributes to this stability.
Then, the possible defects in the fiber must be minimized and the sliver must be regular: in this case, adjusting the hackling intensity is necessary to obtain a regular sliver and to reduce the defects in the sliver.
Besides, switching to a new crop means also adapting the classification for hackled tows if necessary. “When the fiber retting is good like in 2018, we know by experience that we will have also higher hackled tow quality types: like in scutching, a new type will sometimes be created when the fiber quality is really above or below the usual types, says Olivier Delapierre, Manager of the hackling unit of TERRE DE LIN in Saint-Pierre-le-Viger.
All these adjustements are discussed internally between the fiber specialist and the manager of the hackling unit. Together, they settle new hackling parameters, adapted to the new crop.
Olivier Delapierre adds: “The quality of the fiber is very much linked to what happened during the culture. Not only is the farmer know-how essential but we also remain very much dependent on the weather conditions during the culture. The scutching and hackling steps as well as the classification and later on the selection of the fibers are aimed at making the best of the crop and of each fiber lot !
TERRE DE LIN knowledge starts from the field to the fiber, and to reach a reliable quality, the complementary skills and know-how of each team is needed."