Flax Seed to Linen Yarn and Beyond

August 2 – August 6, 2023
9 am to 5 pm


Turning flax into a finished product is a process that has been developed over thousands of years. In this workshop, we will cover this entire process from planting seed, processing the plant, and spinning into yarn. We will dye our yarn and discuss history, alternative processing equipment (we will have traditional and nontraditional available to use), choosing patterns for a knitted or crochet project, and weave a sample. Class will mostly be structured with new skills being learned in the morning and then practiced in the afternoon.

Students should know how to spin a little. However, no prior flax experience is necessary. Some equipment is very sharp. Students should be at least 16 years of age and able to follow safety instructions without supervision. Processing flax can be dusty. Students with breathing problems should bring a good mask to wear. Gloves will be provided during the dye portion of the class.

Skills and Techniques:

• Planting seed and harvesting plants.
• Processing plants into line for spinning, (rhetting, breaking, scutching, hackling).
• How to spin on a drop spindle and wheel (students do not have to do both).
• How to dress and use a distaff.
• How to dye using natural and fiber reactive dyes.
• How to choose knitting and crochet patterns.
• Weave a sample.
• Gain knowledge on the history of flax and linen.

Special Tools or Equipment:
Working spinning wheel or drop spindle. Instructor has drop spindles for the entire class and a limited number of spinning wheels. If students have flax processing equipment, they may bring it to use. But we will have equipment for everyone to try using.

Instructors Covid Policy: Your instructor reserves the right to require safety requirements depending on the state of the pandemic at the time of the workshop.

Materials Fee: $45 Paid directly to the instructor. This includes flax to bring through the process, flax to spin, yarn to dye, dyes, and handouts.

Workshop Policies

Please be sure to read our policies before you register for a workshop.

Age Requirements

The minimum age to attend a regularly scheduled workshop is 16 years. We have set this age to ensure a safe, productive, and community-building experience for all of our students. There are no exceptions.

Accessibility & Accommodations

If you have questions about accessibility or would like to request reasonable accommodations, please contact our main office at 603-435-7314.

Student Cancellations

Cancellations must be made at least 30 days prior to the start date of a workshop in order to receive a refund.
Registration and material costs will be refunded, minus a non-refundable $25.00 registration fee.
A full refund will be made for any amount paid for overnight housing.

Sanborn Mills Farm Cancellations

Each workshop must have a minimum number of students to be held. If Sanborn Mills Farm finds it necessary to cancel a workshop, we will notify students two weeks prior to the scheduled workshop start date. A full refund will be provided to registered students. Refunds for a workshop purchased as a gift will be made to the purchaser only. Sanborn Mills Farm cannot be held responsible for any refunds for travel expenses or for off-site housing expenses incurred as the result of a cancellation of any kind.

Housing & Meals

Please refer to our housing page for more information.


Each workshop has its own safety procedures. Your instructor will review the specific safety requirements at the start of your workshop and throughout your class. Sanborn Mills Farm is a rural setting. If you are allergic to insect bites, please alert your instructor of your allergy and bring an epipen with you. For draft animal workshops or courses requiring time in the woods, be sure to review tick safety procedures from Tick Free NH. We advise students to wear comfortable clothing, comfortable and secure shoes, and consider your personal needs for a day or extended stay.