2023 British Columbia Flax to Linen Network

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Date(s) - 08/03/2023
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


7 Wednesday evenings, 7-9pm online 

Mar 8, April 12, May 10, June 14, July 12, Sept 13, Oct 11

Join the online community focused on growing and processing flax to linen.

These sessions will provide the opportunity to create a provincial support network that builds collective knowledge of flax as a textile crop while fostering a network between growers and spinners around the province. 

The goal for this series of discussions is for farmers:

– to gain a better understanding of what textile producers require for high quality flax straw, 

– and of the process that takes place after the flax leaves the farm.

 The intent is also that  spinners:

– will have the opportunities to connect with those growing flax near their land-base 

– and to further develop their skills in processing and spinning both line linen and tow.

Once a month online sessions from March through October will each begin with knowledge sharing of processing steps and seasonal specific information then provide time for skill sharing and problem solving of seasonal specific questions. 

The series will start  discussing seed selection options then move through sowing, weeding, harvesting and  retting. We will then shift  to straw processing and spinning technical tips. 

The focus of the discussions will be on ‘making due with what you have at hand.’ This includes such issues as:

 -The tools are troublesome and challenging to source

  – Creative  ways to get over the problem of the break.

  – Retting can seem overwhelming and confusing 


As a collective we can share ideas and innovative solutions, we will learn together!

As a group we can learn about what seeds are doing well in which soils and micro-climates.

As a community we can explore the range of possibilities for growing linen; from balcony pots and urban community gardens, to larger scale growers; all are welcome here!

Session Leader: Sharon Kallis

With the EartHand community, Sharon has been growing small demonstration crops of  flax for linen  in urban gardens since 2012. She brings experience of both growing successes and learnings from failures. Over the years Kallis has developed relationships with other  knowledgeable  individuals who will be participating in our conversations. 

Sharon is donating her time for the group  as a part of her 2023 Artist in Residence (A.I.R) support with EartHand: aiding the connection of artists to materials from the EartHand learning gardens. 

Session Methodology: What to expect

What EartHand has learned from 3 years of online programming is the power of creating space for dialogue between like-minded individuals with shared interests and  pursuits

Each session will begin with a focused presentation for the entire cohort.

You can also expect break-out rooms to chat with others growing in the same region of the province, or to troubleshoot with individuals facing the same challenges of location or soil type. We will shape the sessions and break-outs as required to maximize our understanding of growing flax for linen, and even to collectively imagine what steps might be next in building up a provincial agri-textile industry connecting local producers and manufacturers.

Zoom meetings will be recorded and available for a limited time so registrants can stay up to date on the conversation for any sessions they need to miss. Conversations will not be made public, but are for registered Flax to Linen Network Subscribers only. 

Slack as a communication and sharing space becomes our stay-connected space for questions and sharing successes and ideas between monthly online sessions. A google form survey will be sent out before our first gathering to help us know who is in the Network

Financial Accessibility: 

EartHand is providing the opportunity to participate in this program at no cost in addition to a  sliding scale range.  If you are able, please register for a paid ticket- all funds received go directly to supporting EartHand’s programming; including research stipends for invited artists to explore the plantings growing at Trillium and Means of Production Garden.

Visit this web page  to see the beautiful local cloth and colour resource document created by Anna Heywood Jones, one of our Artists in Residence in 2022 and 2023.

If you purchase a ticket for a friend to also join, please be sure and email earthandgleaners(at)gmail.com the name, phone number and email address of the individual so we can reach out to them personally.

Participants require ability to join online via zoom, with a wifi signal and device with a  camera/microphone.

Registration fee does not include seeds, seed selection and information will be shared with registrants before the first gathering.


Bookings are closed for this event.