Flax blooms again in Belfast

Talented designer and Friend of the Mill, Deborah Toner, has nurtured flax in her back garden amidst the hustle and bustle of modern Belfast. Let’s hope this augurs the return of ‘the rippling sea of blue’ along the banks of The Lagan, once seen of old. Before exploring Deborah’s design expertise at her website , take a moment to enjoy the photos of the beautiful and delicate flax flowers she has shared with us.

 

Hemp with a natural tint

We’re excited to share some photos of a recent project, “Cannabis Tinctoria – We see colours”, from a past colleague and weaver here at the Flax Mill, Miriam Johnston. The photos record her investigation of transforming hemp yarn and fabric with a variety of natural dyes to produce stunning results! We’re delighted that she will be here with us to demonstrate her weaving skills at Open Day 2019.

A tragic story woven in Irish Linen

Friend of the mill Lorraine Maguire has brought the fascinating story told in the BBC article “Stitching thoughts on a life cut short” to my attention. Belfast writer and accomplished seamstress Heather Richardson tells the tragic tale of her aunt, Kathleen Hutchinson, who died in an accident near her home, Kilrea, one late December evening in 1939 while cycling home from Clark’s linen mill. She had just recently begun her employment as a typist at the tender age of 15.

Heather chose Irish Linen from Clark’s as the medium to tell her aunt’s story and created a stunning dress that her aunt may have worn on her 21st birthday. Heather then stitched and printed the dress with thoughts and images around Kathleen’s life and has therewith created a fitting document to honour Kathleen’s tragically short life. Please click on the link to learn more on this amazing story and for images of this incredible testament written in textiles!

Love Linen

silk screen print on linen woven by Flax Mill, print by Charlotte Krone

Linen is the aristocrat of textiles

Strong as steel

Delicate as silk

And with an appearance as varied and attractive as an Irish landscape

It is not surprising that is has been preferred

By people of good taste for well over 4000 years

(Wallace Clark)