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Sep 10

Natural Dyes: Explore the World of Indigo

Our journey through the ancient and mysterious world of the natural dye indigo begins here at ClothRoads. We’ll ride the indigo magic carpet throughout the holiday season. Let’s begin with an overview of this dye deeply embedded in cultures around the world–one that is both art and science, and touches the→ Read more

Sep 03

Bandhani Artisan Expands Resist-Dyeing Tradition: Aziz Khatri

Learning bandhani, the Indian name for a resist-dyeing “tie-and-dye” technique, at the feet of one’s elders is the traditional way. It’s what imbeds deep cultural meaning and a connection to cloth, permeating the tactile senses beyond spoken words, and contributes to artisan mastery.→ Read more

Aug 13

Natural Dyes: Madder

For the last of the summer series of natural dyes focused on red, let’s journey on to madder, one of the world’s most ancient dyes.→ Read more

Aug 06

Uzbekistan Ikats Then and Now

When asked to choose my favorite textile, I have difficulty in responding. Truth is, I have to say handwoven silk Uzbekistan ikats are at the top of the list, perhaps because I lived there for eight years. But their bold colors and patterns make wearing an ikat outfit intimidating, at→ Read more

Jul 16

A Red Like No Other: How Cochineal Colored the World

The natural dye cochineal has fired the imagination in producing an exhibit at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe and the accompanying book, A Red Like No Other: How Cochineal Colored the World, of amazing depth. You may know something about cochineal from my June blog, and→ Read more

Jul 09

Natural Dyes: Lac

Our summer of naturally-dyed reds continues with an investigation of another scale insect. Let’s follow the trail of natural dyes to lac in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Thailand and Laos.→ Read more

Jun 25

Talking Textiles: An Endangered Species

I’d gladly spend any time talking about textiles. So when Lidewij Edelkoort of Trend Union was noted as a speaker at the “Talking Textiles” seminar, I jumped at the opportunity to attend. Her company, Edelkoort, Inc, along with curator Philip Fimmano had organized this half-day event at Parsons School of Design. With presentations→ Read more

Jun 20

Celebrate The Men Making Textiles

In our quest to bring you the best of global artisan textiles, we diverged a bit from our original goal of supporting women hand weaving cooperatives. Our first divergence was expanding beyond weaving since women’s handwork in most developing countries must be portable. The second fork in our road led→ Read more

Jun 11

Natural Dyes: Cochineal Red

What do we see when we look in our red natural dye pots? Passion, fire, fertility, blood, desire? Each caldron of color is infused with history, tradition, and cultural meaning—all swirling with stories. The red dyes have invoked strong feelings and cloaked royalty since ancient times and this summer we→ Read more

May 21

Inspired by the Artisanry of Shipibo Embroidery

The three-day weekend forecast is rain and more rain. Sounds like “making” time to me (oh “yeah” I say silently.) I keep a whiteboard in my studio where I list DIY projects for the house, all in random order waiting for inspiration and time to collide. “Make Shipibo Pillows” has→ Read more

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