Traditional Flax Cultivation, Netherlands Open Air Museum, Arnhem
One of the most ancient cultivated crops, flax (Linum usitatissimum) promotes biodiversity and is the basis for many products including linen, flaxseed, linseed oil, putty, soap, paint, linoleum, and insulation material. The crop is near-native to the Dutch landscape and was historically considered a primary source of natural fibre, next to wool. Linen has a strong cultural, social, and economic heritage in the Netherlands and was present throughout the fabric of society; from the much-prided linen cupboard at the centre of most households, to elaborate lacework in traditional dress.
The Linen Project began a continuing collaboration with the Netherlands Open-Air Museum in 2018, cultivating and processing flax using traditional methods. On April 21 2020 the flax varieties Nienke, Natasja, and Concurrent were sown.