A heckle (or hackle) consists of a board set with iron spikes, through which flax is pulled after it has been retted and removed from its woody outer stem by scutching. Heckling splits the flax fibre into individual filaments, in preparation for spinning. Archaeologically, it is often only the iron spikes which survive. See also linen; tools: archaeological evidence ante-1100, Ireland; tools: archaeological evidence ante-1100, England and Scotland.
Cite this pageElizabeth Coatsworth, “Heckle”, in: Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles, Edited by: Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Maria Hayward. Consulted online on 27 September 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2213-2139_emdt_COM_367>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124356, 20120503
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