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Flax-scutching shed, Baierdorf, Styria

Number: 16
Built: 1808
Year of translocation: 1966


Many farmers in east Styria grew flax to produce their own linen. This shed was still used by five farms in the 1950s. It has a saddle-back roof with an overhang above the entrance which provided shelter from the rain. The kiln is made of rubble, the drying room is of log construction.   Traditional linen production involved several stages. The flax was first retted, or steeped in water to break down the fibre, and then dried in the kiln. Next, the dried flax was bruised and crushed, using a wooden scutching stock and a scutcher to separate the fibres from the woody parts and produce tows The tow was then ‘hackled’, that is, it was pulled through iron combs which left the fine fibres that provided the raw material for linen.