Berta’s Flax

A while ago I mentioned Berta’s flax and promised to say more. 

Sorry it has taken so long to update this.

Berta was an Austrian woman who lived in the early 20th century. Her dowery included a chest full of flax stricks.

These stricks were an insurance policy, to be used if she fell on hard times, either to be sold or to spin into linen to clothe herself and her family. When Berta died, her family offered the chest of flax to Christiane Seufferlein, a teacher and textile artist. She was delighted but realised that she would not spin all the flax so contacted others spinners. Now over 2,00 people around the world are connected to Berta’s flax project

Christiane and Berta’s flax also hit the headlines in her local area so that other families contacted her. Christiane collected the flax, linen and stories and shared them generously. The pandemic, customs requirements and managing many kilos of flax has created a logistical nightmare. But Christiane has posted regularly and updated followers on progress. She is hoping to create a social enterprise for Berta’s flax and is collecting the stories and images for a book.  

Spinoff magazine has written a couple of articles about Berta’s flax  article 1 , article 2

Inspired by Christiane, York and District Weavers spinners and dyers have embraced flax and thirty three of us have a strick of Berta’s flax and are spinning it, many for the first time. hope to each create a sample which will be incorporated into a wall hanging by Dot Seddon, a guild member and awesome textile artist. 

I have fallen in love with flax, and linen weaving and have enjoyed working with a number of groups growing and spinning flax. I’ll post more about them soon.

I am happy to gives talks or workshops on flax on zoom or face to face.

message me on 07850 716602 or email,

link to information about flax course

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