I visited the Flax Museum in Foxton and was lucky to be given some of their beaten fibre to use in my tests, so these were added to my samples. Other material I had to research was the properties of the various fibres and the jest of it is that NZ flax (Phormium Tenax) is a cellulosic fibre, with a smooth fibre surface. wool is a protein fibre (animal) and it has a scally surface, which opens and closes under friction and heat and tends to search for each other hence felting and creating a fabric (have you ever stuck a lovely jumper you love in wool by accident in the wrong wash in th washing machine and ended up with a top fitting a doll? I have, a dress i loved, luckily I just stuck it into warm water and stretched and stretched and the dress fitted again).
Polwart is a wool with very similar properties as Merino, a good and smooth wool to felt. When I created my sample I added some harakeke whiitau (NZ flax fibre) to my sample as well as threads of muka I had used in a previous project. Tha is the yellow which is visible in the picture, the blue being silk. I found that the harakeke fibre did felt as soon as I put some wool over or silk as wool when it starts to felt it searches for itself so it can join together and while it does that it locks other fibres it finds on its way, within.