Hooters Hall

Archive for the ‘Flax’ Category

First Steps with Flax

Making a completely plant based textile from flax (linen) is the next step in my slow textiles journey. There will always be a place for wool but I love growing plants and I think learning to grow, process, spin and weave flax will bring me new experiences and skills. I may also experiment with mixing the two fibres by creating my own linsey woolsey fabric. Linsey woolsey is a coarse or plain woven fabric with a linen warp and woollen weft.

I have grown flax before and found it an easy plant to grow and harvest. Flax plants are sown directly to the soil and grow close together which helps keep the weeds to a minimum. It has a beautiful blue flower which is a lot more attractive than nettles, another plant that can be spun into a yarn.

I haven’t processed flax into fibre for spinning yet, my last harvest sat unprocessed for many months due to the busyness of life and then got eaten by my goats.

So, this time I’ve signed up to a Growing Slow Textiles course which I hope will motivate me to complete the process and produce my own linen. There are people from all over the world on the course, which is run by Justine Aldersey-Williams from the Wild Dyery, we are meeting monthly online to explore growing slow textiles using flax, indigo and woad. I planted my flax and indigo this weekend and I already have an established woad bed. I know the woad and flax will do well but I’ve never managed to grow indigo successfully. However, after encouragement from other course participants I have planted my indigo seeds in a seed tray in our south facing conservatory and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

At our first course meeting we learned about the North West England Fibershed which I found very inspiring.

I know that spinning flax will be different to wool so I have bought some flax from Flaxland to practice spinning before I harvest and process my own crop of flax.

So, basically I’m all set for this next step in slow textiles.

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