23 February 2009
The book I’ve been writing, Weaving Flowers from New Zealand Flax, is now ready for sale. It contains detailed instructions for weaving fifteen different flower and foliage designs as well as different variations of several of the designs. The book also includes examples of flower arrangements for the designs, and additional flax foliage ideas for flower arrangements. Most of the flower designs can be woven from a single flax leaf, and are very quick to weave once you’ve had a bit of practice — many of them are much quicker to weave than the flower design shown on the Weaving a flax flower page in the Instructions section of this website.
Flowers woven from flax have become very popular over the last couple of years or so. Bunches of woven flax flowers are now offered for sale on TradeMe, and on the websites Artiflax and Flaxation, and many school teachers are beginning to show their students how to weave flax flowers. I know from my own flax weaving workshops that people of all ages are keen to learn how to weave flowers — as wedding bouquets, gifts or decorations in their own home.
Woven flowers also make great projects for a beginner in flax weaving, and one of the advantages of flax flowers is that any variety of New Zealand flax can be used to weave them, including the coloured, variegated flaxes that are often grown as decorative garden plants throughout the world. Most of the instructions in the book are illustrated with the coloured flaxes, and show how nice they look as woven flowers. Of course, New Zealand flax is not essential for weaving flowers. As I mention on my History page, Māori traditionally used many different plants for weaving. Really, any plant with reasonably long, strong leaves can be used for weaving flowers.
Although most of the designs in the book are made from a single flax leaf, a few designs or variations are rather more elaborate, and one or two — like the sunflower shown on the right — require many leaves. Other photos from the book are shown in my Book page, which I’ve just added to advertise the book, including instructions on how to purchase it.
At the same time that I’m putting up this blog post, I’m also emailing all the people who have asked to be notified when the book came out, including some people who bought an earlier booklet that I put together rather quickly in 2007 when I was invited to tutor flower weaving to the conference delegates of the OSCAR after-school programme. (Up till now, I’ve called the current book a booklet, but as it is now over a hundred pages in length and has its own ISBN number, I think I can fairly describe it as a book!)
Incidentally, the price of the book is considerably higher than the earlier booklet. This reflects the increase in size, from a 16-page booklet of 5 flower designs with small photographs to a 115-page book of 12 flower designs and 3 foliage designs with much larger photographs and more detailed instructions, as well as flower arrangements and additional flax foliage ideas.
I imagine those who purchased the earlier booklet will find the book greatly improved. As well as the increase in size and detail, the quality of the photographs, instructions and layout is also much improved. However, I’ve no doubt that the book can be improved still further. If you buy the book, do post a comment below if you can see how it might be improved, or post a question if any of the instructions are not entirely clear. If you’re considering buying the book, and there’s anything you’d like to know about it, please don’t hesitate to ask. Also, if you have a digital photo of a flower or flowers you have made — or a photo of another version of a woven flower that you’d like to share — I’d love to see it.
Update February 2011
The book is now in its second edition, and contains 127 pages with instructions for sixteen flower and foliage designs. The sixteenth flower is shown on Beachcombing for flaxworks.
Update 29 July 2013
The book is now in its third edition, and contains 148 pages with instructions for nineteen flower and foliage designs. Three illustrations from the third edition are shown on the blog post, Netted flax flowers.
The book is now in its fourth edition and remains a popular choice for weavers, florists, bouquet makers and gift makers.
© Ali Brown 2009. Last updated 2021
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