The Chico Flax Project

Growing flax and processing it into linen is one of the oldest methods of clothing manufacturing on the planet. Sandy Fisher and Durl Van Alstyne have prided themselves in reviving this old craft here in the United States through their company, The Chico Flax Project. Through their work, they are bringing a new industry and social enterprise for fiber production of flax to Northern California in collaboration with local community members, farmers, artisans, and institutions. 

For Sandy, weaving has always been an important part of her life—beginning as a young child when she learned how to knit. In 2012, a phone call during the Bangladesh fires inspired her to grow flax on her plot to use for weaving clothes. Durl is equally drawn to using natural fibers for clothing, his background coming from teaching at public schools for the past 35 years. Now, he works alongside his wife as a regenerative agricultural flax farmer. 

In this week’s episode, we will discuss how garments made from flax fibers will create opportunities for employment and for meaningful craft, the process of designing clothes from natural fibers, and how they began The Chico Flax Project. Interested in learning more about Sandy’s and Durl’s story? Join us on this week’s episode to find out more. 

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podchaser, Podtail, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Topics Covered:

  • Weaving with flax seeds
  • Process of designing clothes from natural fibers
  • Impact of Covid-19 on agriculture
  • Increasing the market of domestically grown linen

Resources Mentioned:

Guest Info

Connect with Sandy and Durl on their website.

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