Edwardian Haymaking With The Scythe

Edwardian Haymaking With The Scythe

‘No part of the business of farming is more pleasant than hay-making.’ (Merry’s Museum, 1843)

I love haymaking with the scythe! Besides being the best full body workout, mowing with the scythe is eco-friendly, quiet – unlike lawn mowers and string trimmers, and with the scythe it’s possible to cut the grass on a steep hill in our garden.

Every May or June I make hay for our rabbits. When the weather is good, it takes two or three days until the hay is dry: from cutting the grass, turning the hay to gathering the dry hay. Usually, I wear everyday clothes but for these pictures I tried making hay while wearing my Edwardian working woman outfit.

‘The implements used in haymaking by manual labour […] are the scythe for cutting, the fork for tedding, and the rake for gathering’. (The Rural Cyclopedia, 1848)


Edwardian Haymaking With The Scythe


Edwardian Haymaking With The Scythe

How To Make Hay With The Scythe

Until recently, I didn’t know know how to use a scythe, how to hone a scythe or how to make hay by hand. I was told that it’s too difficult to learn and no one knows anymore how to use the  scythe.

But thanks to the internet, I’ve learned how to mow with a scythe, make hay and care for the scythe through youtube videos.

-> My Favorite Youtube Video: How To Mow With A Scythe

And mowing with the scythe and making hay by hand isn’t difficult at all! 😀

Related: History Of Haymaking – How To Make Hay With A Scythe

How To Make Hay With The Scythe

Other Uses Of The Scythe

Besides haymaking, a scythe can be used for lawn mowing, cutting back weeds like stinging nettles, thistles and brambles, cutting paths into long grass, and harvest wheat – you can even cut shrubs if you use a bush scythe instead of a grass scythe.

A scythe is quieter and even faster than a string trimmer and lawn mower.

Victorian Haymaking With The Scythe

Full Body Workout

Mowing with the scythe is the best full body workout! 😉

‘No set exercise can be devised that will replace natural use, and no combination of exercises can equal in curative effect the use of a scythe’ (Massage. Its Principles And Practice, 1920).

Edwardian Haymaking

Edwardian Working Woman Outfit

While I usually wear everyday clothes when making hay with the scythe, for these pictures I tried to make hay with the scythe while wearing my Edwardian working woman outfit.

Related: Edwardian Working Woman Outfit

I’m also wearing a chemise, petticoats, a blue cotton skirt and my black wool stays.

Victorian Haymaking

Making Hay In Edwardian Clothing

Sometimes the long skirt’s in the way and I feared the clothing would be too warm on a hot summer day. But it’s possible to make hay in Edwardian clothing. 😉

How To Make Hay With A Scythe - History Of Haymaking
Turning The Hay, Julien Dupré

My Outfit Inspirations

My inspirations for the Edwardian working woman outfit were Victorian and Edwardian paintings of working women, especially paintings by Julien Dupré.

Edwardian Haymaking By Hand

More About Victorian & Edwardian Haymaking & Working Women

Follow my pinterest board “Victorian And Edwardian Working Class Clothes” for more pictures of Victorian and Edwardian working women.

-> Victorian And Edwardian Working Class Clothes

How To Make Hay With The Scythe By Hand

5 thoughts on “Edwardian Haymaking With The Scythe

  1. Actually, considering the present state of my front lawn after the recent Dandelion growth-spurt, using a Scythe HAS crossed my mind!! — Weed-whackers are an amputation waiting to happen!
    However, as lovely as your attire Looks, with our current 30C+ temps and BUGS, I’ll stick with my less cumbersome ensembles!

  2. I imagine you really do get a good workout doing this. It looks great with your Edwardian outfit, but I imagine jeans and a t shirt might be more practical. That said, if it was good enough for the Edwardians…..!

  3. I love full gathered skirts but I’m never sure how full to go. You are clearly very knowledgeable and talented so I wondered if you could tell me how full your blue skirt is and whether it is gored at the front panel or totally straight breadth throughout. Did you ever come across and written instructions or rules concerning these types of simple working class skirts? Many thanks

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