Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fabric Play

With the decision to dismember the Ikea rag rugs has come a bit of a progression on discovery and amusement.

I've had to stop because I did too much cutting across the warping and my right hand started giving signs of carpal discomfort. Can't press that overuse too hard. Not worth it.

I have been amazed to find our that the fabric scraps used for the weft seem to be from a men's shirting factory. I have found scraps identical shape & cloth that have all the earmarks of factory off-cuts.

What is also surprising, but not when you think deeply about India, is how small some of the scraps are or how thin. The too-thin ones get ganged up with other similar skinnies and then lain into the weaving shed. Some of the scraps used are no longer than 6 inches.

Much of the cloth is high grade fine pima cotton, and most woven plaid rather than printed cloth. I have a mental image of the weaving operation being right next door to some cutting room. It's a delicious thought.

These fabric strips have been folded into a position for so long that the fabric is essentially "permapressed". You can also make out the marks the warping threads made as well giving the cloth a bumpy look. Scroll back up to see all the long wrinkles.
No amount of pressing will irradicate that. It's part of my fascination with these cloth scraps.

The next rug was started. The colored strips are put to one side & the white ones to another. I chucked the white strips. There are limits!

                    Oops, blurry... too bad. New fabrics, different from the other rug.
I just love the sculptural feel of the white stuff. When I get to Vancouver I'll do a rug we have there and I'll have another chance to work with these white scraps. I find them so juicy!!

George asks, of course, "What are you going to DO with all this?" Good question. I really don't have an answer yet but I'm mulling. Clothing? Quilt? We'll see.
One thing I thought I'd do was show these to Charlotte Kwan. She started Maiwa. I'm sure she'd be interested.

There was one other mini exploration that started on Kauia'i. I found a t-shirt on the road that had been run over many times.
Doesn't look like much. I washed it & it bled like hell. It came from Australia!
This first photo is after the drying.
 But then I saw more.

 and more.
Then... well, I threw it out, well, after I tried washing in our Maui washing machine and it shredded all over the place into the rest of the laundry. Lint crud everywhere! Yuck.

That's it for today.
We are doing all the finishing clean-up of our place. Packing-city too.


  1. i'm intrigued by the deconstruction of the rag rug
    the photos of that T shirt are rather delicious

    1. How did you find me. I'm thrilled you did because I just love looking at your work.
      Of course, that Tshirt would appeal to you.

      I wish now I had done more with it, but I have a very limited studio right now. It's hard to do messy work.

      AND it's really hard not being about to do messy work.