Flax & Madder I

Catarina Riccabona
Flax & Madder I by Catarina Riccabona is part of the ‘Plant Explorations’ collection, facilitated by The New Craftsmen. Earlier this year, The New Craftsmen invited a select group of craftspeople to the Economic Botany Collections at Kew Gardens to examine and creatively respond to a myriad of objects and their narratives. The collection delves into humanity’s ever resourceful and ingenious making traditions with plants. In this work, Catarina traces the story of flax becoming linen; a material that has been a constant in her work, with its timelessness and distinct aesthetic character. The pink stripes in the warp were plant-dyed using a madder root. The mix of satin and sateen at the top and a broken twill below, results in a subtly mixed pattern of uninterrupted vertical stripes. The hand-twisted fringes give the piece a sculptural character.

Material: Linen, oak veneer frame
cm: Width 40cm, Depth 3cm, Height 68cm
inches: Width 15.7in, Depth 1.2in, Height 26.8in
Care Instructions: Dust the frame and glass. Keep out of direct sunlight, some fading might occur over time and is part of the nature of the piece.


Made off-loom, Catarina enjoyed the hands-on process and the improvisation while requiring almost no equipment. For making the stripe in the warp, Catarina warped twenty-one separate sections. Eleven of which were hand-dyed a reddish tone using a madder root. Catarina used a block threading for her loom setup to be able to juxtapose weaving structures side by side. This piece is framed in oak veneer with glass.
The Maker Catarina Riccabona Textile Artist - South East England

Catarina Riccabona is a loom weaver, working with natural materials such as linen, hemp and alpaca producing intricately woven throws, cushions and textile art. Since graduating from Textiles at Central Saint Martins, Catarina has gone on to develop her interest in sustainability, heavily influencing her creative approach. Drawing inspiration from tribal textiles, vintage grain bags and linen towels, each of Catarina Riccabona’s pieces are hand woven on a traditional loom from her studio in South East London.