The forests of central Indiana are totally lacking in pine or any other softwood, aside from the occasional scraggly ceder. This means for me that, from little up, my experience has always been with hard wood like oak, maple, walnut, and especially ash -I am very sad to see that the beetle has made its way almost to my stomping grounds, and my beloved ash trees are doomed.
For me, whenever I hear people talk about how hard woods like ash and oak are to work, I think it strange. That's just normal to me. Every now and then I get to take my axes to some pine r fir -transplants- and it's like butter to me!
Yet I have this lofty dream of laying up a house of stacked fir timbers, like my kin in the homeland do. It would be totally impractical, and very difficult, to build a house like they do out of our local hardwoods! Interesting how there in the homeland (Switzerland) where they have softwood they build solid wood houses, like a super-refined log type of building, while in the lower regions where they have more oak they build timber frames.
I would have to say that wood cannot be beat as a building material, and if I had the option I would live in a Chalet made entirely of well joined stacked timbers, all wood inside and out.
But this flax you mention, Don, interests me. In what form do you use it? Is it just dried and beaten? Is it retted and separated into fibers?