Hand spun, hand woven, naturally dyed linen items.


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About CelticJujuBags

Sales 0
On Etsy since 2022

The process of making a bag!

With learning to spin, yep in 2020, I found my love! It is something that really feels natural and mysteriously connects me to my ancestors, or so I believe. My great great great grandfather was a cotton weaver in Scotland and I am sure I come from flax growers, linen weavers, in Ireland!
I know that my prices may seem a bit higher than people may expect so let me run you through the process (and this does not including growing and processing flax which is next on the list as I am growing flax).
the flax needs to be spun and the thinner the thread I spin, the finer the linen, the longer it takes to spin and weave.
Next is to size the linen to get it ready to go on a loom. Sizing helps a bit with strength and makes weaving easier. I get the linen wet in a mixture of flax seed goo (flax seeds boiled in water), then wound on a frame till dry.
The loom is then warped wherein each thread, as many as 200?, is threaded through a slot in the bar of a loom which is the up and down threads in a weave. Next comes weaving.
After weaving I cut off, cut into sizes for bags and then stitch down the ends, with linen I spun, so that I can then wash the woven linen.
Next comes what is called mordanting the linen. This allows the dye to penetrate and stay in the linen. I go out onto my property, cut some juniper branches, needles, and then burn them outside. I take that ash and put it into water, strain, and then simmer the linen in that. Next it is mordanted in a mixture of cream of tartar and alum, twice.
At this point I decide what dye I will use. Some dyes are rather extensive such as woad. Safflower is a bit complex as well. Other dyes just involve simmering the plant material in water for awhile, straining, and then simmering the linen. Sometimes the linen will get a bath in iron water (water I have soaked rusty nails in) bath that changes the color.
I grow as much dye material as I can and then responsibly forage in my area for other dye plants such as wild buckwheat, chamisa, Navajo Tea. And then there is the ever faithful and fun yellow onion skins! I have big jar I keep them in.
Once the linen is dyed and rinsed and dried I then begin planning the design. The design can be simple, especially since I want some of my bags to be more accessible. Others call out for extensive embroidery and various elements.
During my dyeing of the linen I also make sure I have enough spun thread leftover to twist into cording, and to use for embroidery, and that does in the dye pots too.
As noted in my listings my goal is to get to a point where everything in my bag is not purchased, other than the flax for now. I am going through my supplies I have gathered over the years and have not purchased anything this year, 2022, for any of the bags.
I need to be self employed, due to my eldest child being developmentally disabled and living with me, and I want to stop participating so much in the waste put out in the world. I use scraps of linen thread to make tassels, and anything else is compost, or nest material for birds.
I am also passionate about handmade that means something, not just an item that will be bought and will fall apart in the end!
I could go on but you get the idea!!! Haha! Thanks!!!!

Shop members

  • Julie


    Hi! While I have no sales now I have been on Etsy for years under a couple of names. One was WeeWovens and the other was simply Celtic Juju. I have done miniatures and art dolls and many things through the years.

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