flax for linen: what’s old is new again

I think, unless I am mistaken this is my very first post about the flax projects unfolding this year.

We have had a plot growing since late April/Early May at Maclean Studio, as well as Caitlin ffrench  growing a plot at the MOP garden, Penny has been leading the charge with her plot at a backyard garden, doing a tone of research, posting, and sourcing our  equipment for future processing, there are also a few people in the community doing grow alongs and Penny is sending them regular updates on what  to expect next. Caitlin and I have also started a project at Aberthau, in West Point Grey called Aberthau: flax=food+fibre… It seems my life is all about flax right now everywhere I look.

but what  I really wanted to do just now is post these lovely photos- we harvested  the Maclean crop last night, and I brought home some of the flax to dry on my balcony.

IMG_2406This morning when I got up, the flowers had opened! the  petals only last for a brief hour or so before dropping, but I was amazed at the open flowers  using stored energy still in the  stock.


The plants are unbelievably lovely to touch, and I pet them as I pass by on my balcony; odd how the tactile quality of the linen is there in the plant  right  from the beginning.

I was struck this morning as I opened my curtains – an old linen embroidered table-cloth, that on the other side of the glass was the flax, soon to be linen.  the  curtain sets the bar high,  a good example of what we are hoping for- but beyond my dreams as far as quality goes. When I found the  15ft by 7ft table-cloth in England last fall in a charity shop with rose and vine pettipoint, I was amazed at the quality of the workmanship, and how affordable it was – with not a wine stain in sight!IMG_2408

Now I  am looking not just at the  pettipoint, but the threads themselves and the secret they hold that I am hopeful to unravel.

More flax  stories  and photos will come, I promise!

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