Friday, 10 March 2017

Lotus silk weaving

Have you ever heard of lotus silk weaving?  No, neither had I so when Alex said that's where we were going I was super excited.

So, lotus silk is made from..yes, you've guessed it, lotus stems.  Look carefully above and you can see the lady cutting and separating the fibres out, they're then hand rolled and given a good wash.  It is then passed to the lady with the modified bike wheel to wind into a skein ready for dyeing.

But before we go to the dye room, let's have a look around the workshop. Coloured silks are all ready to go...

and finished cloth is priced by weight.  It's VERY expensive. Myanmar is the only place in the world that produces this fibre.

Love the colour!

Everywhere I look there's a still life waiting to be captured here,

and here

and here!

Here's the dye kit....

and this too.  You'll be pleased to know that the dye supplies at InStitches are stored in a much more orderly way!

An old 'jam' pan makes a great dye pot

and these wooden trays would not look out of place in my potting shed!

More baskets of odds and ends 

and hanks of yarn waiting to be wound and woven.

Nothing is left unused, even when it's no longer fit for its origional purpose.  So who's going to adapt a couple of old bikes and make a pair of skein winders for InStitches?  If it's you, email us....PLEASE X

The thread is dyed using hot water dyes over wood fires

and by the looks of it it's very hands on.  I had quite a laugh with the dyer over the state of her bare hands!

The colour purple.

And the colour is?

Dyed and prepared thread then comes into the weaving shop.  Can you see the buckets of stones to act as counter weights?

**sigh**just love capturing the everyday bits and bobs,

Here is some undyed fibres being prepped for weaving

And here's it being done.

Nothing is safe from my wandering eye.

Love the shuttles.

So fast..

...the bobbins fly across the loom.

It kept this monk mesmerised, so I was able to take a quick snap of his tattooed back and arms.

Preparing the bobbins, 

which are then already to be slotted into the carried.

I could have stayed all day there, but we had more places to go.  So flick on to the next blog!

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