A project using flax grown at Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses.

Seeds of Fashion: the story of a garment from seed to fashion, sown, grown, printed and made in London, a project by Zoë Burt.

In this film, Diane Sullock talks about working at the V&A as a young woman and being inspired by the 15th century Hunting tapestries dyed with natural dyes including indigo and madder. She also talks about the woad industry in the UK which continued until 1930 in Lincolnshire and how policemen’s uniforms used to be dyed blue using this plant. She demonstrates using a drop spindle to spin a thread of linen from flax. This short film aims to inspire people to investigate more about natural dying and natural fibre growing and to  enthuse crafts people of the future.

This short film shows how we have experimented processing the flax to make a linen thread with a small crop of flax grown at Brockwell park community Greenhouses. We break the woody fibre using a mallet or our fingers, then scutch the flax, removing husky flakes to get the long flaxen fibre from inside the stem, this can then be heckled or combed to produce finer strands that can be spun into a thread. A Nepalese drop spindle is demonstrated, the same type used for spinning nettles in Nepal. The story of Rumplestiltskin arises as our room full of fibre that needs turning transforming into golden thread – is reflected. It is indeed a story of transformation.

Experimenting with Jute from Brixton market