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Veteran Moderator

1273 Posts

Posted - 28/07/2007 :  10:31:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have an old dictionary from the turn of the century and found the word "hegle (-r)" with a reference to flax and hemp, giving "lin-hegle" (-hekle) as flax-comb and "hamp-hegle" (-hekle) as clearer, hackle, hatchel

Børge Solem
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Norway Heritage Veteran

5835 Posts

Posted - 28/07/2007 :  13:08:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Einar and Børge,
it seems now we can conclude: Hegler means Crochet
Hegler Jens Jørgensen was working as a Crochet in the textile industry.

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Norway Heritage Veteran

4782 Posts

Posted - 28/07/2007 :  13:20:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You're onto something there, Borge...

A hægler/hegler was a person who beat the flax so it became soft and could be used for weaving. Flax dresser would be the correct designation in English. One who breaks and swingles flax, or prepares it for the spinner.
Pneumonoconiosis, a chronic respiratory disease caused by inhaling metallic or mineral particles, is also called Flax Dresser’s Disease. So it was probably not the healthiest occupation those days...

Hægler/hegler: Linbereder. En person som slo linet så det ble mykt og kunne brukes til veving.

A "hegler" in action:

It's actually called heckling in English...

"After harvesting, combing or rippling the flax stems removed the seed heads. The stems were then tied up in stooks, and placed in water-filled pits for retting (meaning 'rotting'), decomposing through bacterial action for a week or two, producing the most awful stench, but softening the glue between the plant fibres. The next stage took place at the local mill, where scutching, beating the stems with a hinged batten to free the individual fibres, separated the useful fibres from the outer bark and the central woody stem. At this stage the flax is still full of impurities, so heckling removed any remaining non-fibrous material by drawing the stems through a big comb consisting of a bed of nails in a wooden board. Carding parted the fibres, breaking any natural locks, and laying the fibres absolutely parallel to one another, in a form suitable for spinning. At this point, the process passed to the womenfolk on the farm for them to spin the fibre on treadle-operated spinning wheels."

Jan Peter

Edited by - jwiborg on 28/07/2007 16:23:16
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Norway Heritage Veteran

5835 Posts

Posted - 28/07/2007 :  19:41:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Never learned so much about the textile industri some 250-200 years ago as now.

From the research assignment mentioned abowe:

About 1785 the authorities of Norway-Denmark started to educate workers for the textile -industri, and in 1786 21 schools and 1513 students were supportede by the outhorities.
One of this schools was Enigheten in Norway mentioned earlier.

Page 40 etc:
The German Heglemester/Masterhegler Hovden and two other Heglemestere was engaged, and 35 students, both women and men, 12 students on each Hegler learned how to crochet, sort flax and to spin "efter de saakalte tallhasper" on a "Tallhaspel" haspel who also counted the numbers of yarn that was prodused.

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Starting member

25 Posts

Posted - 31/07/2007 :  21:22:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You guys are brilliant!
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