Flax Life Cycle - From Seed to Textile - WORKSHOP
Gars / Thunau am Kamp, AT
4 Modules, March-Oktober 2022

Flax Life Cycle - From Seed to Textile - WORKSHOP<br>Gars / Thunau am Kamp, AUT<br>4 Modules, 2022

Source: Karin Altmann

WE HAVE IT IN OUR HAND The world is getting more and more out of hand, getting a little faster every day and apparently also crazier. Therefore, we believe, it’s all the more important to reflect on your own roots from time to time, to feel the earth again under your feet and between your fingers, to work with your own hands and let your thoughts and mind calm down.

SPINING FEELS GOOD Spinning feels good in these crazy times. Because it is an archaic activity that has a very special magic, that calms and grounds, nourishes our senses, and forms a welcome, natural counterbalance in our media, virtual, hybrid times. And maybe spinning and rooting gives a little more stability to defy headwinds in stormy times.

IN HARMONY WITH NATURE Flax is a plant fiber that has been with humans for ages. The Bronze Age should actually be called Flax Age, as the material was so important for the development of humanity. Growing your own flax nourishes your soul. And because flax is also a very frugal and undemanding plant with an impressive ecological balance, we will go the way from seed to textile in four modules and bring flax and linen back into our lives. No previous knowledge is necessary!


A few square meters of flax were once enough for the people of the Mühlviertel and Waldviertel region in Austria to supply themselves with textiles. Regardless of whether you have a windowsill, a balcony, a garden or an entire field, you can lay the foundation for your own fabric. With seeds and a lot of knowledge about the cultivation and care of flax, you will grow your own flax at home and watch your fiber material grow. In addition, we will plant a piece of land together in Tristan's paradise garden, because some things are easier if you do it together. Once the seeds are in the ground, we will start spinning. You will learn to use the hand spindle and the spinning wheel so that straw can turn into gold.


About 100 days after cultivation, the flax is ready to be harvested. We will harvest the field together, set up the flax to dry and study different types of flax. In addition, we learn everything that is necessary for the next step - retting - so that your own flax can slowly become more and more a fiber raw material. And because flax and indigo make such a beautiful combination, we will continue to work together on our golden threads and dye part of it with natural indigo. We will use an environmentally friendly fructose-based indigo vat.


The fiber is born from the stems, which have now turned grey. We will break, heckle and card to turn our own flax into a spinning material. Of course, the spinning will continue and the spinning technique will be refined. And because there used to be a celebration and a festive meal after each breaking process, we will celebrate together as well - with the best organic vegetables straight from the field and sitting around the campfire, where Tristan ends every workshop day in a festive way.


After a busy time with cultivation, harvesting, fiber processing and of course spinning, we are now collecting our wages in the form of our first piece of clothing that we accompanied from the seed. With simple backstrap looms you can create a scarf, a belt, a small bag or just a piece of textile. The path from straw to gold closes before winter arrives. The secret of happiness is the joy in our hands.


MODULE 1: FRI March 25, 2 p.m. - SUN, March 27, 2022, 1 p.m.

MODULE 2: FRI July 8, 2 p.m. - SUN, July 10, 2022, 1 p.m.

MODULE 3: FRI September 23, 2 p.m. - SUN, September 25, 2022, 1 p.m.

MODULE 4: FRI October 21, 2 p.m. - SUN, October 23, 2022, 1 p.m.

Friday: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Sunday: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

WORKSHOP COSTS: Per MODULE € 250.- / 4 MODULE € 900.- (plus accommodation & meals)

LOCATION: Tristan's paradise: BIOsain, Am Wachtberg 78, 3571 Gars / Thunau am Kamp. For directions see biosain.at

WORKSHOP INSTRUCTORS: Karin Altmann, Christiane Seufferlein and Tristan Toé

KARIN ALTMANN is a passionate textile artist and researcher and has been teaching at the Department of Textile Art at the University of Applied Arts Vienna since 2004. In addition, she initiated a number of transcultural projects with international partners from Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Japan, Ghana and Mali as well as art projects with children, people with disabilities, refugees and women in psychological and social needs. For over 15 years she has been passionately researching the oldest textile techniques at home and abroad.

CHRISTIANE SEUFFERLEIN is a craftsman and organic farmer and loves the combination of traditional crafts and new ways. The Mühlviertlerin has been teaching spinning on the hand spindle and spinning wheel, dyeing and making paints out of natural materials and the love of natural fibers in general for six years. In doing so, she not only attaches importance to imparting the basics, but also to the connection to her own historical heritage. She grows fiber and dye plants on her own farm and preserves the legacy of old Mühlviertel dowry flax in her project "Berta’s Flax".

TRISTAN TOÉ is an organic vegetable farmer and an all-rounder and has been growing organic vegetables at BIOsain at the Wachtberg in the Waldviertel region of Austria since 2011. He supplies around 100 households with his healthy and high-quality organic vegetables. To make this possible requires a healthy and intact environment and ecosystem. That is why Tristan focused from the beginning on healthy soils, diversity and vital, seed-proof vegetables. Tristan has a wonderful relationship with the earth, which he does not dig up, but nourishes. He understands Mother Nature like no other and has created a small organic paradise with respect and love, a paradise that will be available to us as our course location.


INFOS: Karin Altmann: karin.altmann@uni-ak.ac.at / Tel: +43 (0) 0680 3053813

REGISTRATION: Christiane Seufferlein: office@faserundfarbe.at / Tel: +43 (0) 680 2476272


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