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SOLD OUT – Flax Processing Workshop

October 25 @ 10:45 am - 3:45 pm


A 3-part course welcome to all. Learn how flax was processed and turned into rope, sackcloth and linen. Use our Isle grown retted flax to have a go! The workshops will be led by Archaeobotantist, Liz Pearson. The sessions are bookable through the eventbrite links. It is best to attend all 3 sessions.

Flax processing workshop Fri 25th October 2019
Learn how to process flax that can be used to produce fibre, the traditional way with hand tools


There is a long history of flax cultivation in the Isle of Axholme landscape, all connected to spinning and weaving industries supplying sack and canvas making in the area. The industry, which goes back to at least the 1600s, has left a legacy of flax retting pits and various features or buildings in the landscape.
Volunteers have been recording the locations of flax retting pits that have existed all around this area.
A crop of flax has been grown on Isle land by local farmers this summer. After harvesting, volunteers submerged bundles of flax in a large pit of water (a retting pit) in order to make the stems more easily workable for processing. This has produced water-retted flax.

What you’ll be doing:
In this workshop we’ll learn about different stages of processing needed to produce fibre for making flax yarn and linen fabric. We’ll go through the stages of rippling, retting, breaking, scutching and heckling, working on both dew-retted (retted on the ground) and water-retted flax.

Whilst working, we’ll talk about alternative words for processing stages, and how they’ve worked their way into the English language.
I’ll also give you some background on where and how flax processing remains have been found archaeological sites.
We’ll end up with flax fibre that can be spun into flax yarn.

Flax spinning workshop Fri 1st November 2019 – Learn how to spin with flax. (see date for further information and booking details)

Flax weaving workshop Fri 8th November 2019 – Using flax yarn we’ll set up small piece of card weaving to practice plain tabby weaving (see date for further information and booking details)


October 25
10:45 am - 3:45 pm
Event Category:


Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase Landscape Partnership


Haxey, North Lincolnshire United Kingdom + Google Map