Since 2018, we have been exploring the possibility of producing our own textiles and restoring small-scale linen production through The Linen Project. We have noticed a lot of interest from people wanting to participate. That’s why you can get involved yourself in 2024!
We invite you to cultivate 1m2 of flax in your own garden, inspired by the Swedish initiative 1 KVM LIN. Under the guidance of experts, you will go through the entire process from seed to textile. Throughout the year, you will receive practical newsletters with tutorials, have access to online webinars and have the possibility to participate in inspiring processing days and workshops. We also organize flax consultation sessions where you have the opportunity to share your experiences and gain valuable insights by listening to the experiences of fellow participants.
Be prepared: by growing your own and experiencing the magical process from seed to stem, to fiber, to fabric, critical questions about the current textile and production system naturally arise, and your attitude towards textiles may change. Cultivating 1m2 of flax will help you make more informed sustainable choices.
The end result? A self-made napkin as tangible evidence of your journey. As a culmination of a year of learning and growth, we will organize a lunch where participants bring their own unique self-made napkins and can exchange experiences. Read below for more information on the application procedure, steps and schedule.
Join us, you can apply until March 8, 2024.
To participate, we ask for a one-time contribution of €40.00*. In return, you will receive a starter kit at home with seeds for 1m2 of flax, newsletters with tutorials, access to webinars, and flax consultation sessions. The additional workshops and the concluding lunch are optional, with a separate contribution of €50.00*. You can sign up for these later.
*If this amount is too much for you due to circumstances, but you still want to participate, please let us know so that we can find a solution.
The flax plant has been present in our country for a long time; together with Belgium and Northern France, the Netherlands is the largest global producer of flax. From the turn of the year, it takes about a hundred days until sowing. Flax grows for approximately one hundred days, with the harvest usually taking place at the end of July or the beginning of August. Afterward, it is laid out in the field to undergo retting, the fermentation process where the fiber separates from the woody parts. Depending on the weather, this process takes about a month. After that, the flax is bundled and stored in a dry space.
On clear, dry days in the fall, the flax is retted: the seeds are separated from the stem. Then it undergoes a process of breaking, wherein the stems are fractured to liberate the wood particles from the fiber. During scutching, the remaining wood particles are extracted from the fiber. Finally, it is hackled: the fiber is ‘combed’ until a beautiful bundle of flax remains, resembling hair. What’s unique is that the same manual steps are required in mechanical processing, allowing you to truly understand the process.
From flax to linen
The bundles of the long hackled flax are twisted into a so-called flax doll. This flax is spun into a linen thread; the thinner the thread, the higher quality the linen will be. The shorter fibers remaining after hackling are called tow, and they are also made into flax dolls but are used for more everyday linen. Ultimately, very short fibers remain, which are used for making items like rope or grain sacks.
From March to November, you will receive a monthly newsletter with tutorials. The growth and processing process will be guided by Anna Wetzel.
March to April | prepare and sow the field
April 11, 16:00 | webinar 1 – The Linen Project
May to June | weeding
July 11, 16:00 | webinar 2 – regenerative farming
September | flax processing
September 12, 16:00 | webinar 3 – design
October to November | spinning and weaving
January 2025 | lunch and conclusion
More information about the program will be available soon.
If you have any questions about 1m2 vlas: please contact Guusje Heesakkers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graphic design by HouseTMM / photography by Rob Velker & Ellen Rooijakkers.
1m2 vlas is project by Crafts Council Nederland and The Linen Project in collaboration with the National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies and the Achterhoekse Vlasspinners. Financial support for 1m2 vlas is provided by Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie.