This Plate, representing the common method of Beetling, Scutching, and Hackling the Flax.
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After the flax straw was pounded with a beetle, women scutched it with a long wooden blade over a scutching block to strike off most of the `shous', or woody stem.
The fibre was then drawn through a series of blocks containing different sizes of hackle pins in order to remove remaining pieces of straw as well as `tow' (short fibres), and to comb out the long fibres for the spinner. Shows was burned on domestic fires and its acrid smell was said to identify the neighbourhood of a scutch mill.

Living Linen