EXARC Members Groups & Associations

Bertas Flachs (AT)

Member of EXARC since
Bertas Flachs

Association for the preservation and promotion of traditional flax craftsmanship (Verein zum Erhalt und zur Förderung des traditionellen Flachshandwerks)


In March 2021, hand spinner Christiane Seufferlein Austria was given a chest full of flax. The owner was a certain Berta Pumberger Winhager. Her son was looking for a "good place" for his late mother's cherished bridal chest. Since a chest containing 80 kilos of fibre material would have simply been too much for her own use, the fibre artist began giving the braids away to an international spinning community. After a small article in the local weekly newspaper, many elderly people in the region came forward who also had flax and linen to give away. So Christiane Seufferlein started to visit these people, to record their stories, to learn about flax, about the region and the hard everyday life of farmers. Quickly, the small group of spinners became a group on Facebook and it grew steadily. In the meantime, the group has grown more than 3000 people from all over the world and the small project has become an official guild dedicated to the care and preservation of the flax craft.
• The guild is now teaching spinners all around the world (online and offline) the process of flax growing, harvesting, fibre-extraction and spinning
• We do presentations and talks on traditional flax crafts all around Europe
• We still collect vintage flax fibres, tools and stories not only from Austria but worldwide
• We collect and comment German texts on flax from the 15th to the 20th century translate them and make them available for an international spinning community
• We research old techniques of fibre processing that have been lost to us in order to bring them back
• We collect and grow old varieties of flax
• We reach out to craft organisations all around Europe and the US to collaborate and promote flax craft.
• We teach at universities and schools to pass on the knowledge to a younger generation as well.

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