Spinning flax

Saturday 12 September 2020


The course

The course will consider the properties and history of flax as a textile fibre. We will dress distaffs and spin with spindles, but if you wish to bring a wheel please do so. Everything you need will be provided, and there will be distaffs and spindles to buy. If you have your own spindle or flax strick that you want to work with please feel free to bring them. There will be books and samples to look at and plenty of help and support. Some experience of spinning is necessary. This is a fairly messy activity and an apron is recommended.

The tutor

Ruth Gilbert is a hand weaver and textile historian. She studied textile history at the Textile Conservation Centre, awarded an MPhil for her thesis on the construction of early knitted garments in 2010. Ruth has been the weaver at Kentwell Hall’s Tudor events for twenty years and actively encourages appropriate textile techniques among historical re-enactors. Her publications include ‘A Knitted Cotton Jacket in the Collection of the Knitting and Crochet Guild of Great Britain’, in Textile History 43 (1), 90-106 and the entry on ‘Knitting and related non-woven structures’ in Encyclopaedia of Dress and Textiles in the British Isles c. 450-1450, 1220, Leiden: Brill.

Participant information

You may wish to bring an apron, all materials will be provided.

Fee and refreshments

£75 per person, to include tuition, teas and coffees. Please let the museum know in advance if you have any dietary requirements. The Museum café will be open or you can bring a packed lunch.