Fun and Functional Flax Weaving shows how basic weaving, knotting, twining and plaiting can be used for the creation of any number of items that have wide appeal for their attractiveness and functionality. Suitable for both beginning and experienced weavers this book is a useful resource for any weaver, groups of weavers, educators or tertiary training venues looking for new ideas for their weaving.
The projects start with an endearing little Kiwi made with a curved four-plait. It’s useful to know how to make smaller items like this when there’s limited time or resources, and the book has step-by-step instructions for creating simple bottle holders, flax balls, beads, rings, paint brushes and stars. Also included are ideas for turning these simple items into a diverse range of objects such as a star mobile, baby rattle, jewellery, simple musical instruments, and a wizard’s wand.
The book has instructions on several different ways to create a dragon, or Taniwha, using a variety of plaiting techniques. This is a fun project for all ages and there is a simple folded Taniwha suitable for very young children to make. The final Taniwha is a fiery, colourful, zig-zaggy dragon with striking wings, illustrated here.
Instructions for basic ways of knotting and making different types of cords are given with ideas on how these basic techniques have a multitude of uses in everyday life as well as the creation of art pieces for both the home and outdoors. Flax cord is attractive as well as useful and goes well with other natural mediums such as pottery and wood.
The butt ends of flax leaves, although not often used, have many practical uses, and the book has instructions for window blinds, matting and wall hangings, for example.
Hexagonal weaving, illustrated on the right, is included, and provides the challenge of a different technique to master. Flax lends itself well to hexagonal weaving as it retains its structure when dry.
A Christmas tree, including stars, chains and balls for decorations, made completely with flax, is the final project, and is ideal to keep young hands occupied and give them a sense of achievement leading up to Christmas.
It’s two-dimensional so perfect for tiny houses, caravans and small spaces and it can be reused, with a little renovation, in following years.
More information about the book is available on my blog. With its strength, durability, flexibility while green and hardness when dry, New Zealand flax, as a sustainable and biodegradable resource, is a perfect weaving material for a world with too much plastic.
Fun and Functional Flax Weaving, ISBN 978-0-473-54994-7, is a book of 147 pages bound between covers in a plastic-comb spine, which allows it to open out flat for easy use when following the instructions. It is written by me, and printed and published by Browncraft Ltd. It is available direct to the public through my on-line shop.
© Ali Brown 2021