Spinning straw into gold



textiles and design

Ever wondered how to grow your own clothes?  Over the last year, School of Textiles and Design Fashion and Textiles Master student Rosie Bristow, has grown and harvested a hectare of flax, and processed, spun and woven fabric samples using open-source prototype machinery.

Last week Rosie ran a successful flax processing and spinning workshop in collaboration with Studio HILO, who offer open tools and expertise for small-scale textile manufacturing environments.

The practical demonstration workshop gave people the chance to come and learn how regenerative agriculture connects to sustainable fashion and see raw flax plants turned into linen yarn along with fashion designer Nick Evans.

Rosie says: "We had a great time running the flax processing and spinning workshop! In the morning we demonstrated the Roller Breaker and Rotor Heckler machines which take the flax from being its raw straw like state into looking like silvery hair, and then after lunch we had a virtual workshop with Sara from studio HILO who invented an open-source 3D printed spinning machine.

“We then demonstrated our own version of the 3D printed spinning machine as well as an old school spinning wheel. We spun the flax from its sliver fibre state into yarn, as well as doing some very experimental attempts at spinning some highland cow hair one of the students bought in!”

The event took place at the Borders campus on Thursday 17th March and was made possible by the Annual Fund, who have funded the creation of the roller breaker, rotor heckler, and a 3D printed spinning machine (by studio HILO).

Check out instagram for more information on the project:





Susan Kerr