"Beautiful location. Excellent instructors" - Alan (Burford, Oxfordshire)


Preparing Flax for Spinning

12th August 2016 | Northleach, Gloucestershire
| £35
Course Provider: Cotswolds Conservation Board
Come and learn how to work flax and prepare flax for spinning

Afternoon Workshop (1.30pm - 4.30pm):

Come and learn how to work flax and how to prepare flax for spinning

This unique half day course offers participants the opportunity to discover the fascinating process of growing and harvesting flax. A versatile and sustainable product, flax has been used for centuries to make a vast range of goods from sails for boats; caulking for hulls; linseed oil for treating and varnishing wood; and of course linen for clothing.

All linen (true linen) comes from the flax plant and the UK has a long history both in the growing and weaving of flax. Flax is known to have been grown within the Cotswolds in places such as Mickleton, Moreton in Marsh, Quinton, Weston Sand and Willersey. Just six miles from Northleach a flax mill for making linen was built and ran during the 1800’s. Whilst there is no discernable flax industry left in either the Cotswolds or the rest of the England, many flax products and fibre are still bought and sold throughout the country.

Hosted at the site of the Old Prison, Northleach, during the 3 hour workshop students will have the opportunity to watch the various processes to produce a good strick of flax; they will then make a card distaff (which can be taken home) and as well as being shown how to spin the flax there will be a chance to have a practice too.

By the end of the course, participants will have gained a thorough insight into the art of growing and processing flax fibres.



What do you need to know: No prior knowledge is needed – just enthusiasm!

Instructor: The instructor for this course is Ann Cooper who, along with her husband Simon, own and manage Flaxland – one of the last growers & processors of flax in the UK. Ann and Simon’s main passion besides growing and processing the flax is education - both in the historic value of flax but also the innovative, exciting products which are now coming to market. Ann brings with her a wealth of knowledge regarding the flax industry and can tailor her instruction to those wishing to learn more about a specific element or skill in the art of flax growing and processing.To find out more about Flaxland and flax processing click on the video below.

What to bring on the day: Appropriate clothing, sturdy footwear, and a packed lunch are recommended. All additional materials and equipment will be provided by the course instructor.