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Nov 15

Visiting the Shibori Town of Arimatsu

For the past two weeks, I’ve been on the cloth road with friends in Japan. My long-awaited visit to the shibori town of Arimatsu, a former post town on the feudal Tokaido Road, had finally arrived. Since the early Edo Period (1600s), this has been a center for shibori. With→ Read more

Nov 06

Shibori: A Shaped Resist Cloth

Shibori is a Japanese word referring to the various types of embellishing cloth by shaping it and binding it before dyeing. In my last writing on this subject, I explained the various types of bound and sewn resists. Let’s look at specific examples of Japanese shibori techniques:→ Read more

Oct 30

Woven Dreams of T’nalak Ikat

Strip, split, knot, design, tie, dye, weave, pound, iron. Each of these steps goes into the weaving of the exquisitely complex T’nalak, a resist-dyed (ikat) abaca fiber, which is backstrap woven by T’boli women in the southern Philippines.→ Read more

Oct 23

Bolivian Handspinners Shine in Spinzilla Competition

The results are in! Spinzilla, the international handspinning competition, announced final numbers on Monday. Collectively and worldwide, Spinzilla spinners spun 3,983,286.18  yards of yarn in one week! Really they did. And while the Bolivian team, Warmis Phuskadoras, supported by ClothRoads/Thrums didn’t make the top ten (they came in #19 of→ Read more

Oct 16

Indigo: The Color Which Will Change Your World

Is there another dye that holds such deep, almost magical, powers as indigo? One that is called by so many names, such as ai (Japan), landian (China), chàm (Laos and Vietnam), nila ( India), gara (Africa), or añil (Central America)? One that beckons the spirits or causes mutinies?→ Read more

Oct 09

Go Beyond Textile Armchair Travel

It’s my annual fall ritual–I buy next year’s calendar and stare at all those blank days, days of potential for travel, ClothRoads trunk shows, conferences, exhibits, and the challenge to fit it in with work and volunteer time. It’s the time of year that countries, rich in textile-making traditions, beckon→ Read more

Sep 23

A Traditional Rattan Basket Carries a Load

Only skillful artisans can weave baskets made of rattan strips, designed with bold motifs, and continue to sustain their forests and traditions. The artisans of the Dayak Benuaq, a subtribe of Dayak who live in West Kutai, East Kalimantan, Indonesia, are that skilled. Currently, about 75 artisans from the Eheng→ Read more

Sep 12

A Natural Fiber Forms a Bond among Ayoreo Women

Strong. Resilient. Tenacious. That’s my description of the naturally-dyed fiber bags, designed and created by the Cheque Oitedie Cooperative from the Ayoreo community of Bolivia. But it’s also describes the character of the women who are its makers.→ Read more

Sep 04

Spinzilla: Bolivian Team Competes in Hand Spinning

Have you heard about Spinzilla and the Warmis Phuskadoras? The what? Let me tell you–this October, ClothRoads is sponsoring a group of twenty-five Bolivian hand spinners, named the Warmis Phuskadoras, in an international hand spinning competition, Spinzilla. (Warmis is Quechua for women, Phuska is Quechua for drop spindle, and the→ Read more

Aug 28

Indian Hand Weaver Meets Santa Fe Folk Art Market

Spending immersive time with hand weaver and textile designer Dayalal Kudecha (Dahyabhai) from India, twice within an eight-month period, was a rich learning experience. I introduced you to Dahyabhai in January after meeting him at the weaving gathering in Peru. At that time, he had just learned of his acceptance→ Read more

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