Archives for posts with tag: felting

Yesterday, Isa and I had a very nice ending to a day of bad news. We headed up to the American Folk Art Museum for the Fashion Lab in Process panel discussion “Re-Made in America” moderated by Daria Dorosh and featuring a wonderful group of speakers:

Sarah Scaturro, the textile conservator at the Cooper Hewitt; Eileen Fisher; Melissa Kirgin and Xing-Zhen Chung Hilyard of Eko-Lab; Meiling Chen of Fearless Dreamer; Jose Martinez; Gayil Nalls; Despina Papadopoulos; Sabine Seymour; and presenters from Shima Seiki (creator of WHOLEGARMENT knitting machine)

The discussion was meant to examine the future of fashion, and exploring what the next evolution for fashion will be, and whether or not sustainable practices are compatible with technology and further advancements.

The conversation was very interesting, and I attribute this to the wide variety of speakers and backgrounds, as well as great questions coming from Daria Dorosh, founder of FLiP (Fashion Lab in Process) While the conversation went through all the most pertinent topics related to sustainability in fashion, and how possible it is, I was happy that the main idea that came out of the discussion was that it would not be one thing that could save us all, it will be a combination over time — but the key will be to take the developments and educate the consumer.

So many interesting things were touched upon like the WHOLEGARMENT knitting machines, and an interactive app being developed by Jose Marinez that would provide tags in clothing that will pull up vital background information on the garment.

I was also so happy to finally meet Daria, who will be participating in the upcoming Earth Day event with Abigail Doan, and learn more about FLiP:

(EkoLab deconstructions for FLiP)

“Fashion Lab in Process, (FliP™) is a new company created and directed by Fashion Institute of Technology, NY, educator and artist, Daria Dorosh, PhD.

FliP™ uses a public performance process to communicate a sustainable design philosophy with a
social responsibility agenda that addresses the current state of the fashion world and beyond.

The concept behind FliP™ is to bring designers and customers together through a creative retail experience. FliP™ presents fashion surrounded by video, art and performance to celebrate its reconstructed, repurposed, don’t-waste-anything aesthetic. The public is invited to join in the fun, watch a garment makeover, and walk away with a unique fashion purchase.

FliP™ will demonstrate how mass produced fashion can be made sustainable by being transformed into one- of-a-kind fashions through a process that re-values garments and involves the public in a unique fashion experience.

Fashion Lab in Process is ready to share its novel concept and program that increases
opportunities for young designers. To find out how this can be done for retailers who would like a FliP™ fashion makeover in their store, please contact Daria Dorosh, Director.” – (

Which brings me to the plug : )

Help us get you educated — join us Sunday, February 13, 1-4PM for a Fashion Week Mending Brunch!

(Courtesy Dr.X’s Free Associations, Lewis W. Hine)
  • Bring (1) item from your closet that needs some TLC
  • TAC staff will help you transform it through dyeing, screen printing, and sewing
  • Go home happy with something brand “new”!

What a busy week! We’ll leave you with a nice, relaxing film put together by Etsy about a 91-year old Alaskan moccasin-maker named Mabel. We want our own Mabel moccasins to kick around this weekend…

Students will be finishing up the last class of Shoe-Making 101: North American Footwear, where they got to choose from 17 different designs for their leather shoes.

If you missed this round of Shoe Making, you can join in April! Check it out.


(courtesy Craft Zine)

Received a surprise email from a former TAC weaving student this past week. Anna Craycroft took Intro to Weaving about a year ago. She was very intent on focusing her energy on understanding drafts and patterns. She briefly described the project she was working on, learned what she needed to from Visnja, and was on her way. Little did we know she was participating is such a great exhibition:

Subject of Learning / Object of Study brings a playful engagement with pedagogical language to three rooms of the Blanton Museum of Art. A colorful mural of chalkboards flank the walls of one gallery. A curated library of books fill the shelves of another. Handwritten wall didactics explain the content of the show through slogans and diagrams. The exhibition underscores how the museum itself as a tool for teaching: replete with visual aids, archives and lesson plans.”

While the exhibition seems to have been incredibly visually stimulating, there were also workshops, readings, and discussions throughout the exhibit on a range of topics from Kafka on the Shore, theater, and steel drumming to Montessori education, Bauhaus color theory, and zen meditation.

In the main education room, were Anna’s pieces:

Says Anna: “They are hand woven out of strips of merino wool, and sewn together for reinforcement. The rugs could be removed from the wall and used as seating during workshops and events that took place in the galleries as part of the exhibition. The ‘weaving’ technique comes from a paper weaving exercise invented by 19th century pedagogue Friedrich Froebel as part of his occupational gifts – a series of teaching tools for young children the pattern and color combination are based on the color theory exercises of Bauhaus teachers – Wasilly Kandinsky, Josef Albers, Paul Klee and Johannes Itten. Each rug is titled after the given Bauhaus exercise.”

(all above photos courtesy UOIEA)

(all above photos courtesy Anna Craycroft)

I wish I had been able to see this! As an arts education center that also houses a gallery, we greatly admire how seamlessly they blended a wide range of educational topics and art. Congratulations, Anna! Can’t wait to see what she does next in textiles.

Look for a recap of last nights lecture with Sabrina Gschwandtner on Monday! Have a great weekend

When you think about it, felt is an amazing substance.

Born from wool, it takes just a little bit of water, beating with reeds, and a ride behind a horse and you have the fabric called felt.  Or, to save on the cost of a horse, you can just throw wool into a hot wash and out comes felt.  Felt is used everywhere: on your instruments, in your car and home, in your childhood toys, or your warm hats, on your billiard tables, in blankets and mattresses, and those are the only examples I can think of right now.

However, felt has never been considered a luxury fabric; and subsequently, never is first to be chosen when creating clothing or art.  Yet the kids at the Textile Arts Center’s camp made these beautiful little felt sculptures that got me to thinking whether or not any mature artists utilize felt in their artistic process.

Tristin Lowe’s work is simple but powerful.  He uses natural white felt to create his life-sized masterpieces.

This whale is made entirely out of felt and is life-size.  Look at the fantastic detail that went into the little barnacles that permanently attach themselves to the whale’s body.

Another large-scale artwork is his Lunar piece.

Dana Barnes is no stranger to fabrics.  As a veteran sportswear clothing designer for Elie Tahari, Adrienne Vittadini and Tommy Hilfiger she has been exposed to fabrics more complicated than felt.  But when her downstairs neighbors started to complain that her children were making a racket running back and forth through their loft she came up with a “feltastic” solution.  She started to create large felt rugs to muffle the sounds of her children running.  The process is communal and creates very beautiful rugs.

Dana was reviewed in the NY Times in May.  To read this review click here.

Finally scheduled the movers and junk haulers for this week! Junk includes: 1 giant event tent, collapsed; 1 flattened propane patio heater; lots of tables and chairs; 1 meta loom.

After working from ‘snice for weeks straight, the vegan food has gotten to me, and I’m ready for our office now.

Electrician is starting tomorrow morning, a few walls go up, and we’re ready to go. Weaving and Embroidery classes will be starting again first week in April. Phew

Here’s some rendering of the new space thanks to Milev Architects!

The MetaLoom came down today for the winter and repairs. After a long winter of exposure to children and the elements, we enlisted some new people to help us take it down this time. Gerard Nadeau, the MetaLoom designer, ventured back to NYC; our wonderful summer interns, Kawan and Tyrence, returned; and Liesl Hazelton, a very talented Australian textile artist who is traveling the world on scholarship, was nice enough to take some of the load off us. She’ll be joining us for the next two weeks and hopefully in 2010!

Tali Weinberg, textile artist and grad-student at NYU, also came by to help. She wrote a wonderful blog entry about the MetaLoom and we hope to collaborate with her in installing it at a conference on fashion and textiles at NYU in late January. We’re so happy to be working with people who have new visions for textiles and inspiring perspectives on their role in our world. Thanks, Tali : )

So check back here or the website for MetaLoom updates — we are looking forward to a busy 2010.