Monday, February 15, 2010

Workshop: Maori Flax Weaving

Bev led a workshop on the Maori art of Flax Weaving. In one morning, she had taught us how to choose the stalks of the New Zealand Flax plant, prep them, and weave or braid a variety of flowers.

As an instructor of Textiles, I found the process fascinating. It was much simpler than I expected, and Bev's instructions were thorough and clear. She recommended a book called Weaving Flowers from New Zealand Flax by Ali Brown. It is clearly illustrated and simple to follow. Check the web site for more information on the techniques at

Here you can see Bev teaching us how to select proper stalks of the plant.

Now, we are seeing how to use your thumbnail to remove the spine and split the leaf of the plant into strips.

The split strips become warp threads for the weaving.

Below you can see the steps of weaving of a hibiscus. (I'm hoping my textile students can see this, as we just studied plain weave)

Here is the final Hibiscus.

Next we used a braiding technique used to create a Koru.

Next, is the technique for creating a rose.

and my final two flowers..

Below you see a bouquet of the various flowers I made.

One can dye the dried flax if desired, as seen below.

Here we have a bouquet that Bev made. Betty was the lucky winner in the raffle that was held.

This was a great workshop, and now that I'm back home, I'm planning to add a couple of more flax plants to my garden. I'll vary the colors so that my bouquets have greater variety. Thanks Bev for sharing.


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Kathi said...

Those are so neat!!

Aeldra Robinson said...

thanks so much for the tips...i LOVE thesesigns and ihave arthritis so holding a brush steady is just not possible. Igotta try this out!!!

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