PA Flax Project

Today’s guests are Heidi Barr of Kitchen Garden Textiles and Emma de Long of Knee High Farm, who have joined forces in the Pennsylvania Flax Project, aiming to revitalize the flax for linen industry in their region for the benefit of both urban and rural communities. Their goals are to create an industry built on the principles of radical inclusion, environmental stewardship and social justice, and to create clean jobs across the industries of farming, milling, weaving, cut and sew manufacturing.

Their story as a team begins on March 12, 2020 when the two met to have a conversation about a natural dye project. Their chat quickly turned into an enthusiastic musing about the possibilities of Pennsylvania grown linen and the Pa. Flax Project began. In this episode we chat about the history of linen in this country and the challenges of reinstating it as a viable domestic industry, creating connection in a globalized economy, and issues with product transparency and consumer awareness. Heidi and Emma are excited to expand their commitment to the local economy and textile supply chain, recognizing that local self reliance and choosing to produce natural fibers on regenerative farms is an important step towards a healthy future. 

Topics Covered:

  • The history of textile production in the US
  • Heidi and Emma's journey to growing flax domestically
  • The process of turning flax in to linen fiber
  • How linen compares to other natural fibers, particularly hemp, and the impacts on our soils
  • PA Flax Project's process to regionalize flax seed varieties
  • Rethinking the wedding industry, and the desire for domestically-grown and sewn gowns
  • Consumption culture and the influence of social media
  • The next steps for PA Flax, and their crowdfunding goals

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with the PA Flax Project: