Linens: Seed to Cloth

Process flax, spin, & weave

Instructor: Becky Ashenden

Dates offered 2018: Aug 27–31 (class full; waiting list only)

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Experience the entire invigorating process of growing flax, making yarn, and weaving it into cloth. Ground retting produces deep rich darker tones, and water retting produces a light creamy color. Every crop is different, and every retted batch comes out a differently, giving an unbelievable array of colors and textures to weave with.

At our bucolic Farm Studio, most of your time will focus on weaving, with ample spinning sessions to experience the difference between tow and line. The looms will be beamed ahead of time with our high quality Swedish linen yarns, using both single-ply and plied linen in a variety of weights. Threading and tying up the looms will familiarize students with each project. Special care and attention required for dressing a loom with single-ply linen will be covered, as well as the nuances of weaving with this glistening fiber.

At the end of the week, you can expect to go home with 6 woven items:

  • Rustic runner in plain weave showcasing hand-spun yarns
  • Sauna towel in a simple twill variation
  • Linen damask from the drawloom
  • Traditional Swedish Daldräll (overshot) in fine linen
  • Turned twill blocks on 6 shafts
  • 8-shaft twill variation

You do not need to be an experienced spinner to enjoy this week. Flax is a long fiber, which makes it an excellent place to start. You are welcome to bring your own spinning wheel if you have one that you are comfortable with. We also have several spinning wheels of various styles for participants to try out. Linen is a magical fiber and this is a chance to get to know it intimately.

This class will take place at our Farm Studio, using our quaint and cozy flax house for spinning. Depending on weather, we can move spinning wheels and band looms out into the spacious back yard to take in a breath of fresh country air. Our large floor looms have plenty of room in our beautiful barn, equipped with air conditioning in case of hot weather.


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Location: Farm Studio

Prerequisites: Vävstuga Basics (Why does everyone need Basics?)

Max enrollment: 8

Course fee: $850 (includes all instruction and studio time, course handouts, lunch Mon–Fri, dinner Thu)

Materials fee: $95

Room & board: $450 (includes lodging Sun–Thu evenings, breakfast Mon–Fri, dinner Mon–Wed)

For more detail: See also costs & logistics, food & accommodations

Days offered: Five-day session, Monday–Friday

Schedule: Studio open 9:00–6:00, instruction time 9:00–noon and 2:00–5:00.
Exceptions: on Friday, instruction ends at noon, and checkout must be completed in town by 3:00.
Vävstuga store hours: Tue–Fri 9:00–3:00