Archives for posts with tag: dye

We hope you got to check out the Cutting Edge: Celebrating Fiber show that recently came down.  It really was a stunning show, that drew in wanderers off the street with the massive and delicate textile installations visible from the street. Textile installation artists are vital to textile’s “Fine Art” status.  For the Textile Arts Center, we are dedicated to this stance on textile arts and it will open the doors for textile artists to become internationally recognized just like Picasso and Monet.

Rowland Ricketts is interested in the science of color and how it affects our sensations when we view art.  Contemporary science tells us that color is a sensation experienced because of the differing wavelengths of light waves. To Rowland this is only part of the story. As an artist, her sensation of color is also informed by that color’s material substance and the process that gives color form for her to reflect upon.

“This takes the form of both functional textiles and textiles intended solely as artwork. I see the two practices as symbiotic equals. My artwork challenges me to better define for myself the substantive meaning of the plants and processes I use. My functional work allows me to apply this vision of color in the context of a socially and environmentally responsible design practice. Still, in both my functional textiles and artwork, my intention is the same: Through simple forms and a straight-forward presentation I strive to present the viewer with a color so rich that they see beyond the dyed material to examine all that lies within a color’s substance.” — Rowland’s Statement

My other favorite textile installation artist is Eva Schjolberg.  She has a background in textile projects with regard to space, body and clothing. In recent years she has moved in the direction of textile sculptures and installations. In this exhibition, she shows three-dimensional columns of folded fabric. The starting point for geometry shapes are based on squares. Work The basic structure consists of strips of textile ribbons that are folded in a zigzag pattern. In the distance, the precise fold the edges smoothed out and seemingly melt together into a rhythmic spiral pattern around an axis. The installation items will be experienced as parts of circles.

You probably can tell by now that I favor minimalist installations.  If you have any other textile installations you favor please email me at  I want to encompass the entire range of textile arts.

If you’ve got installation art you want to share, consider submitting to our Call for Entries for our Jan/Feb Gallery show: Missing/Missed, curated by Scott Henstrand.

Remember to submit your ideas or stories for | By You | to; any idea is welcomed with open arms.

Today’s post comes from the Dye Lab of the Textile Arts Center.

About the Dye Lab:  The Dye Lab houses the Textile Arts Center’s synthetic and natural dyes. It is also the proud new home of our industrial drying rack, working table, and all the dyeing materials necessary to turn that dingy, white cloth into a stunning cobalt blue.

We are very conscientious that textiles have a huge carbon footprint on our environment. Part of our mission is to provide training and promote “slow” and sustainable textile production methods, by teaching traditional textile arts techniques and encouraging the use of natural dyes and fibers.

Besides using natural materials, other way to promote sustainable textile and fashion practices is to try to re-use and re-purpose what you already have. One way to give a total new twist to a old skirt or make those 10 yards of ugly brown fabric useful is achieved simply by dyeing it. We believe that dyeing can and should be eco-conscientious and sustainable, and we’re taking those principles in account while equipping our dye lab.

We also have an on-going collaboration with the community garden on our block, where we grow plants and flowers that can be used successfully as dyes. We’re trying as much as possible to use the dyes obtained from the garden, in our classes/workshops and in our products. We’re also especially interested in promoting the use of natural dyes that can be easily (and cheaply) found at any garden or farmer’s market in our community and we have exciting collaborations with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Skillshare happening this month.

Plus, dyeing is fun!

For all these reasons and because there are “some costs” associated with having a state-of-the-art dye lab, here comes our second kickstarter campaign!

**Blog Plug: Don’t forget to submit your blog ideas to!  I am anxiously waiting for all of the brilliant ideas that are sure to come my way.

Anyhow, today I was sitting on the subway and like any other New Yorker I was trying to keep my eyes to myself…meaning that I was in la-la land, keeping to myself, and I didn’t want to be bothered. But a woman with bright pink curly hair caught my attention around Canal Street.  However, the first thing I noticed was that she was cross-stitching (something you don’t see everyday in New York) and then my eyes gazed upon her hot pink locks.  But I didn’t think, “Oh what an interesting / weird / loud hair color.”  I thought, “Wow that color would look beautiful as a cashmere sweater.”  That head of hair completely turned me on to the idea of looking at hairstyles as a point of creative stimulation. (I got tired of using the word inspiration.)

From This…

To This (sorry I was unable to find the designer)…

And This…

To Christian Dior…



And This…

To Tina Kalivas…

These pictures are exceptional and tend towards the side of extremely fashionable hair dyes but it just shows you that hair is a wonderful source of creative stimuli.  What you did to your head in high school and college can help you create your wardrobe, bathroom, wedding invitations, etc.

Though there is the possibility that my time at the Textile Arts Center has rekindled my insatiable creativity, my imagination is running WILD.

The corsets are being tightened, stockings pulled up, hairspray flying so you can’t even breathe, and everyone is getting a spray tan.  Yes tonight is Fashion’s Night Out, and on top of that and Textile Arts Center’s “Celebrating Slow” event begins tonight at 6pm.

In this blog I want to highlight all the fabulous, free workshops which will be taking place tonight.

Giana González of Hacking Couture is a Panamanian interaction designer and artist. Her work explores the dissection and re-appropriation of culture and/or design and their systems in means of finding opportunities for new expressions and experiences. She is not attached to a specific medium. Giana’s work has been shown in the US and overseas in venues like Eyebeam Atelier, Garanti Gallery, and Columbia College’s A+D Gallery. She has also participated in events like Maker Faire and Siggraph among others.  “Fueling her passion for interactive design are her personal interests in participation, personal expression, and style. Giana is excited by creating experiences that empower individuals to communicate and express themselves. Fashion is a huge influence on her work because she sees a strong parallel between its cycles and technological progress. Giana believes that both fields could enrich each others methods. This is evident in the DIY events and projects She has led, like Hacking Couture workshops where fashion consumers become the designers.” For more information check out her personal website here.

Hacking Couture is a platform for launching new fashion creations through an open source approach of reverse engineering fashion brands and making the code available online. Hands on workshops encourage participants to create using the codes regardless of their level of fashion knowledge, and to engage in the larger fashion conversation. By understanding the coding of established fashion, this project provides a platform to empower participants to step up and create.

Come hack Sustainable Fashion with us tonight beginning promptly at 6.

Isa Rodrigues is a Portuguese angel, princess, master dyer, and studio manager of the Textile Arts Center.  She is an amazing teacher and is thrilled to be teaching a quick little workshop on natural dyeing with objects you can find in your cupboards or in your garden.  Tonight you can learn how to dye with flowers that come to us from our local community garden, red cabbage, and a couple more surprise dying materials.  To see a quick how-to video Isa made with Brooklyn Mini-Skills click here.

Bags for the People is a non-profit organization that is reducing the use of plastic bags through sewing workshops.  These workshops are designed to educate communities on green environmental practices though creative thought.  By using donated fabrics from donated bolts, old clothing, and scraps one will sew their own reusable tote.  If you don’t know how to sew that’s ok because BFTP provides knowledgable instructors to help with basic sewing skills and tote bag patterns. It was started in 2009 by 3 friends who worked at the Union Square Farmers Market and observed an unethical waste of plastic bags.   They began to hold these sewing mini workshops in the market and it took off.  The organization now collaborates with art institutes bringing their mission straight to the creative pods.  Bags for the People also have a series of workshops at the Textile Arts Center, for the next workshop check out their Art Happenings Page.

Sewing Rebellion hosted by Maya Valladares will be a tutorial on how to mend your pesky holes and tears that come with years of loving your clothes.  Patching is really fundamental to Sewing Rebellion’s mission of making good clothes last, and customizing them to be personal and political as well as pretty.  By using extra scrap fabrics and a little know-how you can make a worn piece feel like new.  Maya Valladares currently works at the Brooklyn Museum coordinating their gallery and studio programs as well as the studio art programs.  She also is a freelance teacher working Brooklyn Museum, Escola de Arte (Brazil) and the Laundromat Project.  Her workshops focus on textile arts and clothing design.  She has always been a big supporter of the Center and we are thrilled to be supporting her and Sewing Rebellion.

Drink a coffee, prepare your wallet, do a little stretching, do whatever you need to do to pump yourself up for this amazing Fashion’s Night Out.  Remember that to participate in the Hacking Sustainable Fashion workshop you must RSVP.  Currently spots to participate in the workshop itself is full and there has begun a waiting list, but please come join us for the informative and fun presentation and learn about this amazing industry.  This workshop begins promptly at 6pm.

The Sustainable Panel begins at 7pm and there is limited seating.  There will be standing room available.

Thanks everyone and have a great Fashion’s Night Out!