Friday, 28 September 2018

Homegrown Linen - the book!

One of our members has written a book about growing flax!



Homegrown Linen:
Transforming flaxseed into fibre

by Raven Ranson
Grow linen yarn sustainably at home. Reclaim the traditional skill of growing flax, extracting the fibres, and preparing them for spinning.

Homegrown linen is both a conceptual and hands-on book about gardening, homesteading, and creating yarn.  Appropriate for all levels of experience from the yarn-curious to the master spinner.

Discover: how to grow flax for fibre • how to adapt growing techniques to your conditions using permaculture techniques • how to create a personalized fibre flax variety • how to process fibre from straw • the tools • tips and tricks for working with linen • other uses for flax
The book is illustrated by Tracy Wandling, and will feature drawings of the flax plant, the tools used, and even one of Raven turning the dew retting flax.


There will also be stunning colour photos of the process of creating linen yarn using homegrown flax.

Part of the 2017 flax to linen Victoria harvest


Tracy and Raven are both West Coast girls and plan to print this book locally using eco-friend paper and ink.  However, doing the right thing for the environment costs more money than expected.  The kickstarter is to pre-sell the book to pay for printing and other expenses. 


The Kickstarter is live!
Click here to visit our Kickstarter
and help us get this book to the printer!

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Flax to Linen Victoria - 2018-2019

As of 2018 and 2019, Flax to Linen Victoria is demonstrating at three events per year:

Two events at SHAS (the Saanich Historical Artifacts Society), early summer and at the thrashing festival in September.

and

Fibrations, the largest fibre festival in Victoria, BC, Canada.

When we have more updates, we'll post them on this blog.  You can receive email updates by subscribing to the right of the screen under "Follow by Email".




The Flax to Linen Group of Victoria has been active for over a decade now - doing educational displays at festivals, events and markets.  We are currently undertaking a fallow period while we pursue our individual artistic endeavours.



Sunday, 17 September 2017

Where to buy fibre flax seed

Here are some places we found Fibre Flax seed for sale.



Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds occasionally has fibre flax available.  Perhaps if more people start requesting it, they will bring it back as a regular item.

They also carry a few other heritage varieties of flax that look promising for fibre production. Just because they don't say these are for making linen, doesn't mean they can't be used for it.  All flax has fibre hidden in its stem, perhaps it just needs the right conditions to make it useable.  So far, I've had the best luck with their perennial flax.


Richters Herbs also has fibre flax from time to time.

At the moment of writing, they have Evelin Fibre flax in stock, but Regina Fibre Flax is out of stock.   They also have a listing called 'flax' which may also be useful for fibre making.  I can't tell how tall it is from the description, but if one had the room, it would be worth trying.



Wild Fibres UK also has flaxseed, however, I don't know if they ship overseas or not.

Flax for Sale is a place in the US that sells seeds as well as fibre for spinning.  They don't mention if they ship internationally.

Woolgatherers sells Marilyn Flax seed which originates from Holland.


Know of any other sources of flaxseed?  Please let us know in the comments section.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

videos spinning flax into linen

An example of spinning flax into linen.


And here's Monique dressing a distaff with line flax, ready for spinning fine linen thread.



Our next public demonstration is at Heritage Acres on Sept 16th, 2017.


Sunday, 23 August 2015

2015 Aug 16 - Our demo at Fibrations Victoria turned out great. What a crowd there was. Lots of people wanting to try it out and more young people this year I think breaking, scutching and hackling. Thank goodness for Liz bringing us the tent as it was a hot day and Nancy Bissonnette getting some pictures. I printed out lots of pamphlets and they were all gone before the end of the day. I think that's a good sign that people are interested. Of course, we were at Fibrations where everyone is interested in fibre which explains it.  New photos on Flicker.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

We in Victoria have had a very mild winter but there is still the dampness in the air that the flax likes to suck up, making it hard to process. It doesn't break nicely if it's not crispy.  With the least bit of dampness it will flatten rather than break.

 We are getting a few days of sun in a row now so I've been out a couple of times to the garage to process a few bundles.  I have no long line to spin so need to process. I've been spinning tow - which we have a lot of.  I ply a ball of spun tow to a ball of spun long line fibre to make the thread I use to crochet face cloths.

It's almost time to go out to the barn and bring in some more flax bundles. We have them in my garage in town so we'll have some ready for the demonstrations we'll be doing this spring and summer.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

We will be demonstrating how to turn flax into linen at Dickens Craft Fair  

http://jamesbaymarket.com/dickens-fair/
this coming Saturday  Dec 6, 2014.

We will not be doing the heavy processing of breaking, scutching, & hackling as this is an inside event with not much room for the mess we can make.  We will however, be showing off our demonstration table which has pictures, samples, and a number of different items for show and tell.  There will be the opportunity to learn how to spin, using an easily home made, drop spindle.
Hope to see some of you there.