Tuesday, May 21, 2013


scarf #5 - the first on the second painted warp

My camera doesn't seem capable of capturing the subtleties of colour in the cloth.  This glimpse may give you an idea of some of the shades of colour....

Hand weavers in North America are not just competing against each other when they try to sell their textiles, they are also - in a way - competing against the textile industry.

With employees in developing countries making pennies per hour and the mills close to cheap material supplies it is next to impossible to compete with industry in terms of price.  So what can hand weavers do?

We must rely on our creativity to produce things that industry either can't or won't do.  We must appeal to the segment of the population with the disposable income willing to spend more on something unique in the marketplace.

It took me a long time to come to grips with working with boutique dyers.  It was when I realized that I was using commercially dyed variegated yarns that the penny dropped.  If I was buying variegated yarns from commercial suppliers, why on earth couldn't I use yarns dyed by hand?

Since making that decision I have worked with 3 different dyers.  Each has had their own approach to colour and I have learned so much from each of them about how colour works together.  I am so grateful that each of them has been willing to dye yarns/warps for me, work with me to produce a palette of yarns that I can use to make pretty scarves, etc.

Industry can (or does) not at this time do painted warps.  By using warps specially hand painted, I have cloth that is totally and completely unique from what is commonly available in the shops.  So far people seem to feel that my scarves are worth the premium I charge for them.  I am hoping the 'fashion' for scarves lasts for a while longer!!!

The best way to appreciate these scarves is in person because obviously a photo simply cannot do them justice.  The scarves are intended to be ready for the fall sales - here in Prince George, Seattle Weaver's guild sale, Circle Craft in Vancouver, Art Market in Calgary.  Or via purchase from me directly, taking a chance on the reality instead of the pale imitation in a photo....

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