The weather has been so bad for so long with relentless wind, rain and flooding. I feel so fortunate, unlike many others, to live on a hill with no fear of flooding. The bad weather means it’s a good time to be inside by the wood-burning stove bundling pieces of fabric.
I have wanted to experiment and see what is possible in the depths of winter with very little in the way of fresh leaves to work with. Bundling what I can find in silk and cotton, around sticks, stones and metal scraps and then simmering them in baths of windfalls.
I bundled a piece of the fine hemp silk from the hemp shop with the habutai samples. It has the body of hemp with some of the dye qualities of silk. Steamed up windows and the lovely aroma of leaves fill the air and later, though little time has been given to developing the prints lovely colours and marks emerge.
My brain is whirring thinking of what wonderful things I could do with it. I have also bought some organic hemp and cotton jersey fabrics to play with which are calling for an indigo bath.
This week I have been busy designing a new website for my friend Denny Andrews. She sells clothes made largely from block printed and vegetable dyed fabrics from India. (I will write more about this another time). During breaks from the laptop I have been stitching books and a map Though the map idea is still in it’s very early stages I hope to develop it into a textile project
open rust book
inside rust book
As soon as I can I want to experiment with different resist techniques on some new fabrics. I have been looking into ecological sources, and organic hemp seems to be one of the best as it uses far less land and water to grow and process than cotton. Yesterday I ordered some organic hemp jersey and hemp silk woven fabric to experiment with from the hemp shop. I’m quite excited about trying these for mud resist and indigo and some itajimi (clamp resist) with leaf printing. It will be great to offer students who want to upgrade from basic cotton to these fabrics and I should be able to offer them at cost.
There has been lots of interest in this years workshops and bookings and deposits are arriving daily. I am grateful to my friend Jane Meredith for mentioning my workshops on her website. She runs plant dyed wool workshops at her wonderful riverside haven in Herefordshire. If you like natural dyeing and wool you should look her up.