Saturday, March 30, 2013

Flax to furoshiki!

At last, after many months of trials and sampling, I’ve finally found a way that even the more beginning of beginner can make cloth from their flax.

The standard Urban Weaver chopstick/toy wheel spindle spins flax very well. It only takes a very short while to make enough thread to make a 4cm square on a home made pin loom.

I’ll post up the details of where on the internet to find a jig and instructions for these lovely little looms later.
Once you have completed your square and taken it off the loom, put it into dilute bleach for a few minutes.

When it's gone paler, rinse it and dye it!

Here’s my dyes out in the sun this weekend. Takes a day to dye a square. I used blackberry juice from berries I canned last year, ditto cherry juice, onion skins, dried weld leaves, tansy and safflower.

Then just rinse your squares again, iron them and sew them together. That's the cloth you can see in the top picture.
And in case you think it isn’t possible to produce a big article of clothing this way, here’s a shawl I spun, wove, dyed, sewed together. It’s made of all local fibres from angora rabbit, to bison fibre (from the bison meat guy at the Terminal Ave farmer’s market) and ‘chiengora’ (malamut cross hair from the dog pound). The dyes are all from local plants too (apart from two dark blue indigo squares).

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