Archives for posts with tag: screen printing

In his latest book, “At Home”, Bill Bryson has dedicated a whole, enormously entertaining and informative chapter to the dressing room. Through the recounting of the history of this room, Bryson discusses some of the most decidedly exotic fashion trends of the Victorian era and earlier.

In his lively and engaging way, Bryson suggests that, “it can seem as if the whole impulse of fashion has been to look maximally ridiculous. If one could be maximally uncomfortable as well, the triumph was all the greater.”

Because it is impossible to paraphrase Bryson in a way that is more witty or lovely, I will simply include an excerpt of this chapter starting with the discussion on the surprisingly irrational trend of male wig-wearing starting in the 1660’s that lasted for 150 years.

“Wigs might be made of almost anything- human hair, horsehair, cotton thread, goat hair, silk. One maker advertised a model made of fine wire. They came in many styles- bag, bob, campaign, grizzle, Ramillies, cauliflower, brown tie, riding bob, and more, all denoting some crucial difference in length of braid or bounciness of curl. Wigs were so valuable – a full one could cost 50 pounds – that they were left in wills. The more substantial the wig, the higher up the social echalon one stood- one became literally a bigwig. Wigs were also one of the first things snatched by robbers.

All wigs tended to be scratchy, uncomfortable, and hot, particularly in summer. To make them more bearable, many men shaved their heads, so we should be surprised to see many famous seventeenth- and eighteenth- century figures as their wives saw them first thing in the morning. It was an odd situation. For a century and a half, men got rid of their own hair which was perfectly comfortable, and instead covered their heads with something foreign and uncomfortable. Very often it was actually their own hair made into a wig. People who couldn’t afford wigs tried to make their own hair look like a wig”

This all sounds particularly funny because the victims of the fashion trend are men like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, men who built the social and legal structure of this country. Men of gravity and importance who it seems, made time to fret about the beauty and trendiness of their hair. The susceptibility to follow an irrational trend makes them seem almost too human. It’s rattling to think that the founding fathers’ judgment is not beyond reproach, at least where hairstyle is concerned.

Although this sensitivity to the fashion of the times seems like a weakness, upon deeper consideration it shows a kind of personal commitment to social and cultural cohesion that is necessary to form a united whole, or social unit, like a country. After all, fashion trends often carry in them a political statement, and are by nature faithfully democratic.

Wikipedia says:

Clothing and textiles have been enormously important throughout human history—so have their materials, production tools and techniques, cultural influences, and social significance.

Textiles, defined as felt or spun fibers made into yarn and subsequently netted, looped, knit or woven to make fabrics, appeared in the Middle East during the late stone age. From ancient times to the present day, methods of textile production have continually evolved, and the choices of textiles available have influenced how people carried their possessions, clothed themselves, and decorated their surroundings.

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Historically, textiles began as any other means of expressing stories and present experiences. Today, we see textiles as a way of expressing our personalities, of reserving a place in history specifically for ourselves.  Not really much different from what has happened for centuries, so our perceptions of its techniques should not be so different.  This is where you would be wrong. Now-a-days we are not so concerned with how our products are made, just that we have them and as many of them as possible.  We have lost the joys that a process brings, and that is what textile artists, slow fashion, and centers are bringing back.

The techniques have changed significantly, but the ideals remain the same.

Weaving

Dyeing

Screen Printing

Felting

Knitting

And these are just a few examples.  There is still quilting, crocheting, lace making, sewing, macrame, batik, tie dyeing, cross stitching, embroidery, not to mention the possibilities of combining all of these techniques.

What my anger issue is about is that such a small group of people really appreciate the work that goes into a hand-crafted textile.  It is such a shame that everyone does not have appreciation for something that is a part of their everyday life.

This is what the Textile Arts Center is helping to rectify.  By educating we can help the public gain more smarts, appreciation, and overall experience in a field that affects their lives immensely.

Happy Grand Opening, and I promise that next week we get back to our regularly scheduled program!

It has come to the end of the week and the Textile Arts Center is hosting its first Free Friday After-Work-Shop.  The activity for tonight is screen printing on your old tee-shirts.

This got me to thinking about patterns and how I, personally, don’t take enough risk in mixing radically different patterns together.  My wardrobe leaves something to be desired on the risk front.  But now that I have graduated from various uniforms, from navy jumpers to jeans, tank, and a cardigan to a more sophisticated palette.  New York City is pretty intimidating on the fashion front.  There are a million different styles to choose from, each one more bizarre than the last, but I guess it’s what keeps New York so interesting.

My biggest problem is that I always feel like I am making a fashion faux pas. However, what I am noticing more and more is that fashion mistakes are really just an illusion.   What may feel good to one individual isn’t necessarily right on others.

So I just wanted to provide you with where I find my inspiration.  I have been fascinated with the color wheel ever since I can remember, and patterns is a great way to mix and match colors.



Thanks for the images from trendland.net, and couturecarrie.blogspot.com.

Textile Arts Center is looking for a new summer intern!

We need:

The Marketing intern will assist in all campaigns from research and design, to implementation and analysis. Daily activities will also include updating social media, light filing, help in event planning…

You should be:

An undergrad or grad student (current or recently graduated). Candidates must have background in business and marketing, and interest in the arts (particularly textiles!)

You will be compensated with either a small weekly stipend (TBD) or through taking classes and workshops with us for FREE!

Please send Resume and Cover Letter to info@textileartscenter.com

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!