Why Flax?

Have you ever seen a flax plant? Here is a picture of one growing earlier this year in central Wisconsin with its lovely little blue flower! Flax is a plant well suited to the growing conditions we have in our region and is a remarkably environmentally friendly plant. When flax is grown organically it is one of the most sustainable fibers you can use, needing very few inputs.

Delightfully our area has a small but functioning woolen economy, and we also have some leather and hide processing facilities. Growing flax to make linen offers another opportunity to diversify our local fiber mix with a product which offers different characteristics from wool or leather.

Drawing for prizes!

When submitting a completed survey you have the option to enter to win one of these truly fabulous items created by area fiber artists.

Deadline is December 1st 2022.

Beaded flax flower on buckskin pouch. (valued at $150)

Showcasing another material possibility in our area, this locally harvested buckskin was tanned using traditional methods. Beading was done by Daniel Hull, an Ojibwe elder who works in applique beadwork often employing a combination of contemporary and traditional floral patterns. Daniel spends much of the balance of his time engaged in offering ceremony.

https://anchor.fm/daniel-hull4?fbclid=IwAR2neQVq238_fS4aJLEd1dQyAyaVC_opLnPS8opgfajc6xRR8aehulGq6f4


Handspun hand dyed local merino wool art yarn from Mother of Purl. (valued at $75)

Lauren is a queer, black fiber artist living on Sioux, Ho Chunk, Sauk, and Meskwaki land in so called Wisconsin. They are a multidisciplinary artist hand dyeing wool, spinning yarn and writing original knitting patterns. In addition to creating art at every available opportunity, they are a mother of 2 young children, an herbalist, and an abolitionist.
https://www.motherofpurl.net/

Hand woven item in the works (estimated value $150)

This project is up to the discretion of the maker, it will be a handwoven item and will be created with love and made of either locally raised and produced yarn and/or upcycled fabric.
Ani is a passionate dyer, spinner and weaver deep into farm living in the Driftless Region, growing fiber flax, cotton, dye plants, raising cashmere goats, and exploring and making with many well-known and some obscure natural fibers.

Learn about other efforts to relocalize linen

Resources on flax the plant and processing to linen

Why this survey?

We need your input! One of the stepping stones to bringing larger scale growing and processing of flax to linen locally is for potential growers and processors to invest with the confidence of knowing local people will buy their finished products. That’s where you come in – would you buy it?

We will be publishing the results of the survey by the end of December 2022; we’re hoping we find a strong showing of interest, but learning reasons for roadblocks in enthusiasm would be equally important. Estimated time to complete the survey is seven minutes. 

This work has been supported by a grant from the Willy Street Coop Community Reinvestment Fund

Connect with the maker of the survey at bastfibersurvey@gmail.com