Flax Braid from Historic Kaufman Farm Circa 1727

I purchased this large flax braid with 5 pigtails from a gal I have known for many years. She is an expert in early textiles, for sale and anything to do with fabrics. This flax braid is from her private collection. She told me it’s the last one she has. I couldn’t resist buying it. I thought it was wonderful. You don’t often find them this large. I’ll be offering it on my website this evening.

What is so interesting about this flax braid is it’s history. It comes from a town called Oley, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I have heard of Oley, but didn’t know that much about it, so I did a bit of research and this is what I found.

Oley is in southeastern, PA. It’s about 10 miles east of the city of Reading, PA. It was first settled in 1712. The name Oley appeared in the land warrant issued to Isaac DeTurck. The name is attributed to the Lenni Lenape, native Americans who called the region Olink, which means a hollow or kettle. It comprises most of the Oley Valley, almost entirely surrounded by hills, with the rest of the world shut out. The township covers an area of 15,065 acres of some of the best agricultural farmland in the country. About 80% of the land is farmland. Throughout the township, defining it’s character, are buildings dating from the mid 18th, to the late 19th centuries. There are over 160 farms dating within the period of 1740-1880, and 3 VERY SPECIAL FARMS have been in the same families for over 250 years. This flax braid is from one of these old farms, THE KAUFFMAN FARM, since 1727.

What I find so interesting about this particular bunch of braids is that some of them have flattened and hardened on the back. They must have been stored in the same place for a very very long time. Who knows, maybe 200 years. If you look at this photo closely, you can see horizontal lines, most likely the imprint of whatever it was resting on while stored away. I wished I asked her if she knew more about the farm and how she came to purchase this flax. Next time I see her I am going to do that.


It’s sunny and 71 degrees here in Wilmington, Delaware


3 Responses to “Flax Braid from Historic Kaufman Farm Circa 1727”

  1. Jenny Says:

    Beautiful flax! Wonderful find! It takes a lot of work to raise flax and finally a very skillful hand to spin it into a fine linen!

  2. braid Says:

    Іѕ theгe any moгe of thе ?
    Thankѕ anywaу fοг yоur infогmation!
    What about a ρlаtt оr еven а fiѕh tаil bгaid ?

    Thanκs for peгfοrming thiѕ
    :) Тhanks аgaіn

  3. Kathy A Kane Says:

    Oley is in Berks County.

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