Linens: Seed to Cloth

Special 9-day class

Process flax, spin, and weave

Instructors: Becky Ashenden & Eva Gaultney

Dates offered 2024: Jul 8–16

This popular class introduces you to the magic working with linen starting from raw plants, all the way through the process of mangling the woven piece to a silky finish. The satisfaction seeing this process through step-by-step will bring you greater understanding of the material, as well as deeper knowledge of how to  work with it.  As you beam, thread, and weave your own project, you will gain confidence working with this beautiful fiber and learn skills needed to keep it all going smoothly. Choose your main project from our assortment of possibilities. Also weave on a shared loom.

Weave 2 projects

  1. Choose a special project of your own from our selections.
  2. Rustic runner in plain weave showcasing your handspun yarns.
flax garden
flax garden
diamond lace weave
diamond lace weave

Shared project

Weave with your handspun linen yarns to make an exquisite piece not to be replicated.

flax harvest
flax harvest
checkerboard twill blocks
checkerboard twill blocks

Stages of flax processing

  • Ground retting (darker tones)
  • Warm water retting (lighter tones)
  • Breaking
  • Scutching
  • Hackling
  • Distaff dressing
  • Spinning
  • Finishing
rippling
rippling
square lace weave
square lace weave

Flax processing

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

ground retting
ground retting
daldräll (overshot)
daldräll (overshot)

Spinning

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.

drying retted flax
drying retted flax
Sätergläntan twill
Sätergläntan twill

Extra days

We offer this as a nine-day class, as we have learned from experience that the extra days will allow students more time for spinning and weaving. Official  class time instruction will not be offered during the weekend, but Becky will check in each morning and afternoon to see whether any troubleshooting is needed.

scutched flax
scutched flax
hackled and spun flax
hackled and spun flax
fine linens
fine linens
satin square
satin square
rustic hand-spun runner
rustic hand-spun runner
fine linen damask
fine linen damask

Register now

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

Max enrollment: 12

Location: Barn Studio

Course fee: $1250 (includes all instruction and studio time, course handouts, lunch Mon–Fri and Mon–Tue, and dinner Thu — over the weekend, meals will be provided as needed in the student kitchen)

Materials fee: $95

Days offered: Nine-day session, Mon–Tue

Schedule: All weekdays Mon–Fri will be our regular hours, with instruction time 9:00–noon and 1:30–4:00. The weekend days Sat–Sun are extra weaving time: Becky will check in twice a day and be on call for emergencies. Once a session begins, the Barn studio is available at all hours. Exceptions: on the last day, instruction ends at noon, and checkout must be completed by noon.

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