Slow cloth refers to a concept that values "creativity over efficiency; and that considers time and how we can approach things with a healthy and human pace." -Elaine Lipson 2013
It's not just about things that take a long time to make. It's about quality over quantity. It's about responsible choices. Here's a peek into how I work in the studio.
Everything I make is handwoven and much of the yarn is hand dyed. I weave with silk, bamboo and cotton. Lately I have begun to experiment with hemp. And occasionally I add a bit of light metallic yarn to create a delicate shimmer.
Colorfast and washable dyes are mixed with a natural thickener to paint consistency, Then in a process related to the ancient art of "ikat" the designs are dye-painted onto the prepared, but as yet, unwoven yarns.
After the image or pattern is dyed-the yarns are covered with plastic and humidity set for 24 hours or longer at an air temperature of 70 degrees or higher. Finally the yarns are washed, dried and ready to "dress the loom."
The art of weaving dates back to 6000 B.C. when weaving was accomplished solely by the worker's fingers lifting each thread separately. The first loom with a pulley and lever system appeared in early Egyptian excavations. My loom operates by a system of harnesses and treadles without electricity - just my hands and feet.
The most common weave structure is tabby weave - a simple over and under crossing of threads at right angles to each other. The stationary threads called the warp are held under tension on the loom, while the cross-threads called the weft are inserted between a series of raised and lowered warp threads.
Weaving is a unique process because both the pattern and the structure are created simultaneously as the interlacement progresses.
My finished fabric for clothing and accessories is pre-shrunk and machine washable (in a good machine, not the corner laundromat please) using cold water and a gentle cycle. I dry all my own work in the dryer on delicate.
All fine fabrics must be treated with care, bu