Ancient art resurrected in challenge to ‘grow a London garment’

Harvesting flax at Daubeney Fields

Harvesting flax at Daubeney Fields - Credit: Archant

A unique project to resurrect an ancient and forgotten art and ‘grow a London garment’, has seen flax seeds sown in Daubeney Fields turned into a linen top.

The final garment on show at the Royal Horticultual Society’s Lindley Hall

The final garment on show at the Royal Horticultual Societys Lindley Hall - Credit: Archant

Gardeners all over the city sowed patches of flax, the plant that produces linen, and growers then brought their harvests together in school and community workshops to

learn and practise the ancient – but now mostly forgotten – skills of turning plants

into thread.

They broke, scutched, heckled and spun the flax and eventually had

enough yarn to hand over to students and knitting technicians at the London College

of Fashion to design and knit into a garment.

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The idea for the project came from Zoë Burt from Seeds of Fashion in Herne Hill and

Kate Poland, of Cordwainers community garden in Hackney Central, who wanted to show the environmental and labour costs of growing thread and to inspire people to connect with their surroundings.