“St. Augustine, who attributes the whole of these arts to the Christian scapegoat, the devil, is flatly contradicted by Ludovicus Vives, who shows that all such would-be magical operations are the work of man’s industry and deep study of the hidden secrets of nature, wonderful and miraculous as they may seem.
Podocattarus, a Cypriote knight, had both flax and linen made out of another asbestos, which Porcacchius says he saw at the house of this knight. Pliny calls this flax linum vinum, and Indian flax, and says it is done out of asbeston sive asbestinum, a kind of flax of which they made cloth that was to be cleaned by throwing it in the fire.
He adds that it was as precious as pearls and diamonds, for not only was it very rarely found but exceedingly difficult to be woven, on account of the shortness of the threads. Being beaten flat with a hammer, it is soaked in warm water, and when dried its filaments can be easily divided into threads like flax and woven into cloth.
Pliny asserts he has seen some towels made of it, and assisted in an experiment of purifying them by fire. Baptista Porta also states that he found the same, at Venice, in the hands of a Cyprian lady; he calls this discovery of Alchemy a secretum optimum.”
H. P. Blavatsky