Gill Back bio: I started handweaving after I was given a large 1930’s Harris floor loom and that was the beginning of my love affair with weaving!
I now have my own studio in France, where I have lived for the last 18 years. I produce a certain amount of my own wool yarn from a small flock of sheep and handspin and dye wool and silk. Sometimes I go for a completely natural effect/product and use organically produced yarns and natural plant dyes but I do also buy commercially produced silk and luxury yarns like cashmere.
Most of what I produce are ‘one-offs’ and I certainly don’t do production runs as I enjoy the challenge of designing new patterns and textures and experimenting with colour combinations.
For the scarves and shawls I usually work with silk, from very fine shantung to a thicker handspun with colours ranging from lovely golden natural tussah to a myriad of jewel bright colours. For other items like napkins and cushions I use cotton, linen and wool as appropriate.
All the scarves and shawls are handwoven by me on a floor loom. I prefer to use natural fibres, especially silk, but also use cashmere, alpaca, linen and cotton. Sometimes the yarn is handspun by me and I dye most of the silk myself. Each item is individually designed with much thought and care so you can be sure that anything you buy is totally unique.
Wool in the summer? Crazy, you say? Not when it is fashioned into these whimsical and original pieces of jewelry. They are gorgeous and unique and can be yours for less than you would imagine.
Beautiful. By Ollies Woollies.
Look at the beautiful work I discovered in the Gallery!
Claudia Manokian: i am a textile designer and a felt maker\ artist, known for my modern approach to the medium of felt making by handcraft.
in 1993 while in England, i first met the old and rich textile art called felting, many things attracted me to the art of felting, the fascinating ancient history going back to 2300BC, the wonderful uncomplicated process of the work itself (wool, water, soap and a shaking motion)and the possibility to apply this art to the modern aesthetic approach of our days.
i adopted the texnique called NUNO-FELT, by manipulating a minimal amount of wool fibers through a basis of fine woven cloth, i create felted cloth with very different qualities to the more known tradisional felt.
2009 is the International Year of Natural Fibres. One of the world’s most beloved natural fibres, wool, is also one of the oldest in use. Although sheep were domesticated around 10,000 BC, it took people nearly 5,000 years to begin spinning their wool. In the time since then, wool has been a worldwide textile-of-choice for clothing as well as a myriad of home comforts.
Currently, global wool-production is at around 2.1 million tonnes per annum with Australia leading the herd, so to speak, followed by New Zealand and China. This figure, while seemingly large, is actually much less than it once was. An increased demand for synthetic fibres beginning in the 1960s meant a decline in wool prices and, as a result, production.
The current “green” movement, however, has led to a renewed interest in sustainable natural fibres, including wool. While new wool products continue to enjoy their popularity in fashion and home décor, it is the “old” wool that is garnering much attention in the handmade community. With an eye on thrift and a commitment to “reduce and reuse“, eco-conscious crafters and artisans are repurposing existing and heirloom woolen garments to create fun and fabulous items.
Do you remember Space Invaders? Do you have cold toes?
OS Handmade: Felted slippers are made using hot water and soap – one of the most sustainable processes in textile
Wool (not merino) used for these slippers is very soft and thin what makes these slippers feel like a second skin on your feet. Your feet will be warm on a cold day and cool on a hot day due to insulation properties of the wool fibers.
Soles are covered with natural latex what makes wool slippers safe to walk around the house (not slippery).