Susie Gillespie

Flax Processing, Linen Spinning & Creative Weaving




2019 June 24th to 27th – full

Susie  will show you how to process and spin the flax grown in her orchard to make a hank of linen and then weave a linen cushion cover or piece of artwork on large four shaft floor looms in her studio. Suitable for complete beginners and experienced spinners and weavers.


Susie’s workshop and studio are set in the orchards of a 15th Century cider farm in South Devon. It is the perfect place for you to relax and be inspired.

The course is 4 days and includes all materials and lunch. Accommodation is available B & B in the Barn House and Farm House next door to Susie’s studio. 

While you are on the course, why not take the opportunity to explore the beaches, countryside and river estuaries of South Devon recording what you find in sketches, photographs and found items and return to the studio to incorporate your ideas into your woven art work.

valley view

Susie plants the flax seed (which is also called linseed) in spring and it is ready to harvest around August time. Susie will talk you through the process of rippling, retting and drying and you will be supplied with the flax stems from last summers harvest for you to start the next stages of processing the flax into linen yarn.

Firstly you will put the stems through a giant wooden crimp called a breaker to reveal the flax fibres. The remaining bits of hard pith that are left on the fibres are then removed with a wooden knife called a scutch.

To prepare the fibres for spinning, you will comb them through fine metal tines (prongs) called a hackle and they will begin to resemble the pony tail of a flaxen haired maiden.

The pony tail is then spread out on a table and wound onto a distaff. Susie will then show you how to tease the fibre off the distaff and onto the spinning wheel to produce the linen yarn.

Once you have a hank of your own linen yarn you can move on to the weaving studio where there are large four shaft floor looms and begin the process of weaving the linen into cloth to produce your own cushion cover or artwork.

Susie will show you basic weaving techniques as well as her more unusual ideas in weaving.




You can weave different textures and experiment with wrappings, twill, looping, slits and tapestry inlay. You can also experiment with gesso, paint and earth pigments and if you are making an art piece distress, fray, stain, unravel, darn, stitch, cut and sew fragments together.

Suitable for complete beginners and experienced spinners and weavers, you will come away with your own linen cushion cover or piece of artwork designed and created by you.

The course is £340 for all four days and includes lunch and materials.

Accommodation is available B & B in the Barn House and Farm House next door to Susie’s studio. Please visit the Accommodation tab above for more details.

To enquire about course and accommodation availability please click here

2019 course dates calendar

April 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th – Tim Johnson ‘Finding Fibres – Containing Space’ – Full

April 27th, 28th – 2 day weaving course – Full 

May 4th-5th – 2 day weaving course – Full

May 18th to 22nd – Field to Fabric Residential 5 day Creative Textile Course – Full

June 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th – Flax processing, linen spinning and creative weaving course – Full

July 2nd to 4th – Alice Fox Land Marks Course – Full

September 2nd to 6th – Field to Fabric Residential 5 day Creative Textile Course – full

October 5th to 9th – Field to Fabric Residential 5 day Creative Textile Course – 6 places – new date

October 19th and 20th – 2 day weaving course – 1 place

October 26th and 27th – 2 day weaving course –  6 places new date

2020 course dates:

February 8th to 12th – Field to Fabric Winter Residential 5 day Creative Textile Course – 6 places

March 21st and 22nd 2020 – 2 day weaving course – 6 places

May 2nd and 3rd 2020 2 day weaving course- 6 places

Please use the contact tab above to enquire about course and accommodation availability if I don’t get back to you within a day or two please try again as sometimes the enquiries do not reach me. Thanks Susie.

I also have gift vouchers available if you would like to give a course as a present.