Story: Flax and flax working

Sample of flax cloth

Sample of flax cloth

This very old piece of cloth is woven from New Zealand flax fibre (muka). It was sent from New Zealand to Australia in 1829, at a time Sydney merchants were very interested in muka as an item of trade. The fibre was prepared in New Zealand and exported to Sydney, where it was re-exported to Britain at a profit. The flax trade peaked in the early 1830s.

Using this item

National Library of Australia
Reference: nla.pic-an3202598

Permission of the National Library of Australia must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Flax and flax working - The early flax trade', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 May 2024)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 24 Sep 2007