Flax is a rather inconspicuous, thin stemmed plant that barely seems strong enough to support the gorgeous, sky blue flower it produces. But flax holds a secret: inside that spindly stem are fibers that have been used by man for thousands of years to produce linen thread. Flax is relatively easy to grow, non-invasive, and in flower is extremely attractive. And, unlike some other fiber plants, flax is happy in our cold northern climate. So this summer, the DFHG is offering anyone who is interested enough seed for a three foot square garden patch of flax.
We’ve also scheduled a workshop to introduce everyone to this wonderful fiber on April 29 from 10 AM to 12:30 PM in the Ruth Maney Room of the Depot. The workshop will be lead by Bruce Engebretson from Park Rapids, MN who not only grows flax but weaves it using traditional methods. Bruce is very excited to be teaching this workshop because many years ago he learned how to weave from DFHG member Ester Kyromaki – so leading a workshop for us will be part of an unbroken circle! Bruce’s workshop will cover all aspects of flax, from growing to processing to weaving – so bring any and all questions and come prepared with paper and pencil to take notes!
Flax seed packages will be available at this workshop. If you can’t make it to the workshop, seed packages will be available at the studio beginning April 9. We ask that everyone who takes a packet of seeds sign in, and then we will send an email with what growing instructions we have (but I’m sure Bruce will have much better instructions!). In the summer and fall, we’re hoping to arrange flax processing parties – keep your eye on the Yahoo, Facebook, and the DFHG website for details as they develop! The flax fibers can be used in many ways besides spinning – they make lovely baskets or dried arrangements. And we’ll probably be able to think of many other uses during the long months next winter!!!