Cassie’s Inflaxuation project started by researching the textile industry from her home in Ireland. Flax was once a thriving industry and huge part of Ireland’s economy that now has almost ceased to exist. Flax fibres are utilised in the fashion industry in the form of linen, a highly luxurious fabric. Cassie sought out to demonstrate flax’s wider applications that have not been considered within fashion and textiles.

We are in constant search for new fibres using new technologies, Inflaxuation uses old fibres with new technologies, bringing historical textiles into the future of fashion.

This research begins at a farm in Ireland called Mallon Linen, which is reintroducing flax into their land located in County Tyrone. They use regenerative agricultural practices to grow flax, using a crop rotation of potatoes, oats, flax and grass. The entire process supports the regeneration and health of the soil which contributes to combating climate change and supports a biodiverse planet.

Using only materials from this crop rotation she created her material collection of leather, fur, lace, buttons and additionally fertiliser sequins.

Every step of the process has been taken into consideration including the natural dyes being sourced from plants that are local to the farm, wastewater from the dyeing process is used to create the sequins and all elements of the flax plant are incorporated into the materials, creating a closed loop, localised process.

The process of replication and scalability have been considered in her project and she is working on demonstrating the ability to reproduce the system in different climates with crops that are native to the region.

The design inspiration looked at Irish Paganism, Irish symbolism and the goddess Brigid who was worshipped to bring a good harvest for farmers. Inflaxuation investigates how we can create more value for flax by creating a wider range of textiles using only the materials sourced from the crop rotation that Mallon Linen has implemented. This textile collection consists of using a range of techniques to create these regenerative textile samples including 3D printing, embossing and lasercutting.

She believes Biodesign and circularity in fashion involve looking back as much as we should be looking forwards. What technologies have existed for centuries that we can improve upon with some lateral thinking and help from biology? She sees that flax has huge untapped potential for textiles beyond linen.