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Flax is widely used as a fibre for Church bell ropes. Quality can vary due to the growing conditions and harvest of the flax used. Like hemp ropes, flax can absorb moisture and stiffen in damp conditions. Ropes can also change length depending on the weather.
Four blows behind
See Long fifths
(or Bell frame) The framework in which bells are hung. Old style frames were usually made of wood, but more modern installations are usually metal.
Fraying or Frayed
To unravel or become worn
Fully muffled bells have a half muffled fitted to each side of the clapper.