One Hundred Percent Handmade
Each product I make is a unique handmade creation. The decorative images start out as pencil drawings and are then brought to life using fabric paint, applique and free machine embroidery. This means that even where the same image is used it will always look just a little different, because the fabrics and threads vary, and I do not use computer programs. Computerized images do tend to have a mass produced look about them, and one of my goals is to offer you articles which have a freshness and handmade feel about them – which they have.
Up to now I have used polyester, or polyester/wool/cotton blends for my work. Unfortunately, these fabrics are costly to the environment to produce, so I am currently looking into the possibility of using fabrics which have little or no impact on the environment in their manufacture and disposal.
Two fibers currently being used to make beautiful fabrics are bamboo and hemp. These are sustainable crops, they grow quickly and the fiber is easy to process. The fabrics are also biodegradable, so when you’ve worn too many holy holes in them for comfort, you can just throw them on the compost heap! That said – they do wear very well, so it’s unlikely that you’ll have to do that too often!
The fibre for bamboo fabric making is derived from the pulp of the bamboo grass, and it has natural anti-bacterial properties. Both hemp and bamboo fabrics feel soft and cool to wear and the bamboo resembles silk or rayon in its feel. Often the two fibrers are combined in the one fabric.
My challenge at the moment is to access these fabrics in a range of colours suitable for liturgical vestments. I can get them in the natural colour – a lovely soft cream.
If all this interests you, I’d love to hear from you.