Merry Xmas and/or Happy Holidays


Wishing all my readers and customers and peaceful and happy period over the coming Xmas period.

I will be taking a complete break from selling for the next couple of weeks, and so have just taken down all my listings from both ebay and etsy, and hope I will not be inconveniencing anyone!

I will let you know when the listings go back up again!


all the best

julz signature

Tsethang serge Cloth Weaving Revival in Tibet


Firstly, apologies for ‘dropping out’ of the habit of regular blogging in the last couple of months – I seem to have lost the momentum lately!  However, these two reports about a revival of weaving in Tibet caught my attention and I thought I’d share both of them with you.

What I find odd about both of them is that there is no clear picture of what Tsethang serge looks like, made up into a garment, and that altho this featured initiative seems to have begun in 2007, it is suddenly receiving a lot of attention for the money it could potentially make!

I came across the first article about this story of traditional weaving in Tibet on the China Daily Site this week and when I looked for more info, all the other articles seemed to be copies.  The only one with a little more to say is the second I have copied, from China Tibet Online.  Nevertheless, having never heard of this cloth before, I thought you might like to see what I found.  If anyone has any more information, please let me know.

I was going to copy the full articles, but have given up as the formatting didn’t work, so if you are interested in seeing more pictures etc, please click on the links – smile.

( Xinhua )Updated: 2015-11-28 14:27:03

Vanishing traditional weaving revived in Tibet

Tsethang serge, considered the finest of all Tibetan

traditional fabrics, has reemergeddecades

after disappearing from the market. [Photo/]

Intangible cultural heritage becomes poverty alleviation tool in Lhoka

2015-12-01 10:32:00
 “Ze Tier, or Tsethang wool serge, is a handmade textile art based on Tibetan Pulu, in which the warp and woof are gradually changed from coarse to fine and the texture from thick to thin. It was very popular during the fifth Dalai Lama period and became a special tribute fabric Tibetan monks and prominent officials used to make clothes”, said Pasang. “Today, a tailor-made Tibetan costume made from ‘Ze Tier’ white cashmere sells for 13,000 yuan and a scarf for 1,300 yuan.” Through self-financing, in 2008 Pasang set up an ethnic serge hand-weaving cooperative in Nedong County, Lhoka Prefecture.

Through help from relevant government departments, he obsessively embarked on a path to rescue the development of “Ze Tier”. From the cycle of choosing, weaving and processing the fine wool, to passing on the weaving skills to younger students; from the 42 poor students initially enrolled to the 72 permanent staff farmer contractors across three counties, this thousand-year-old serge craft is once again bursting with life. Apart from inheriting and carrying forward an outstanding ethnic cultural heritage, this small grassroots cooperative is also taking on the burden of driving the local people out of poverty. Disabled, unemployed youth, housewives and poor households – there are many like Dawa Tashi at this cooperative. They have not only mastered a skill, but also have broken out of poverty. According to Pasang, since establishment of the cooperative, they have directly found employment for 136 people and indirectly found employment for 322 people in extended industries.

Make Your Own Silk Paper – The Ironing Method


DSCF1868Its actually very easy to make paper out of silk, and you can get some beautiful results very quickly if you use the Ironing Method.

I tried out a few variations, and made a few mistakes, and I would suggest that you work on the trial and error method too, and work out what you prefer.

There are various uses for this handmade silk paper, and you can make is as thin or thick as you like.  Thick paper can be used for book covers and even writing paper, and can be painted or embellished and embroidered after its dry, and cut to any size you want.

The thin paper is great to add to any art textile design piece, and is especially dramatic as a window within a greetings card.   You can also make beads by rolling strips of the paper and varnishing them – so I hope this gives you some ideas for xmas gifts!

You will need:

IMG_2605silk cocoon strippings (unwashed and still containing the natural gum, that the silkworms used to make the cocoons, which is what makes this method possible)



throwsters wastesilk throwsters waste (again unwashed – this comes in white or various colours)



silk hankies

matawa silk hankies (these are unwrapped cocoons spread out into hemmed squares – see my post on silk worms)

other odds and ends to add in when you are making the paper, such as bits of silk carrier rods, cut silk fibres, pieces of silk lap, washed throwsters waste, glitter, small beads or anything else that takes your fancy!

an iron and board or table

non stick greaseproof baking paper – must be non stick otherwise you won’t be able to peel the paper off

small spray bottle filled with ordinary water

A4 pack with everything you need - £9.99

A4 pack with everything you need – £9.99

I have put together a pack with the basics for you…depending of what size you make, it should be enough for 5- 20 pieces.

You can either buy this direct – see here – or you can find the listings for it on etsy – here, and on ebay – here.A6 silk sample pack_Fotor









DSCF1844Cut two pieces of the baking paper and lay one on your ironing surface, then pull out strands of the silk cocoon strippings and lay in a thin rough circle or square on top of the baking paper.






DSCF1847Then spray with water and place the other sheet of baking paper on top and iron the sandwich.








DSCF1845Lift the top paper and add some more silk strippings, and repeat as above.  You can continue this process until you get the thickness you want – or you can …..






DSCF1866….. add one thin silk hankie on top of the ironed silk, then another thin layer of the silk strippings, spray and iron.  The silk hankie does not contain gum so you need to add the strippings to fuse them.







The idea of using the silk hankie is to give a thin net that will allow you to keep some gaps in the finished paper.  Lift the piece up and see if you want to add some more silk strippings.  The paper will still be wet so work carefully.






Once you are happy with the piece of paper you have made, pull it off the bottom baking sheet and allow to dry.  You will find you have made a very thin sheet of stable paper.  The edges of the hankie will need to be cut off, as they will probably not have been stabilised.

Please note, when experimenting, you need to balance the thicknesses on each side of the hankie, and if you decide to add another one, you can.  Silk hankies can be dyed before you use them and will add some lovely colours to your paper.


DSCF1854You don’t need to use the silk hankies – this is another version where I tried adding some white silk throwsters waste, a little washed dyed silk throwsters waste and some coloured glitter.





DSCF1860I wasn’t sure I liked it all that much, but its just to give you some ideas.











This is the finished dried piece.  Its a lot thicker than the first piece, and you need to fill all the gaps before you dry it!


If you would like to share your pictures of the paper you make, I will be happy to put them up on another post so that others can see them and get inspiration!  Please email them to me referencing “the ironing method’.  If you don’t have my email address, please use the CONTACT ME page.


To make things a bit clearer, you might like to watch this video I found on U-tube!

Autumn Leaves: Leaf Rubbings


Classic Autumn Leaves Wallp TLGI came across this post thro’ Pinterest this morning and thought you might be interested in this seasonal idea to incorporate in a design for your arts and crafts – it comes from an educational site for children, but its just as relevant for all ages.  This is an old post but the archives include lots of ideas for learning activities. I have just copied the first bit of the post – if you want to see more, click the link below.

Apologies for taking some time to get the silk paper info together – I have had a few distractions in the last couple of weeks – hopefully I will have time to put it up this week!

The Art & Science of Leaf Rubbings

Posted by Jacquie Fisher on September 02 in Kids Activities & Crafts

I have always loved to do leaf rubbings!

Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated by the instant ‘picture’ that was created just by covering a leaf with paper and running a crayon over the top.

As I grew to become a nature lover, I realized that a leaf print is much more than just a pretty picture — it’s also a peek into the science of trees.


Learning Art & Science with Leaf Prints |Edventures with Kids

The Art & Science of Leaf Rubbings

Leaf rubbings are one of those crafts that almost every child tries as Autumn approaches.  We see so many beautiful leaves covering the ground that we are drawn to capture both their shape and hue on paper.

Since we’ve always done traditional leaf rubbings, I thought we’d venture out this year and experiment with the artform by using materials that are slightly different than the standard white paper and crayon technique.  I’ve also included some science terms for discussion during the activity ………

Some pictures of Silk Worms making Silk

silkworm and cocoon

silkworm and cocoon

As you will know, if you follow my blog, I LOVE SILK!  Not just the finished silk fabric, but the raw silk yarns & fibres, and the cheaper bits like cocoon strippings and throwsters waste.  You can find some pictures of these in a previous post – and if you go to my etsy shop or julz craft supplies on ebay, you will find most of these, and other items on sale!

I came across this post about how silk worms make silk, with amazing pictures of the silk worms and their progress – it comes from Dona at Creative Country Life and you can find the original HERE.  Dona has kindly given me permission to copy this for you.

I am planning a series of ‘tutorials’ about using some of these, especially to make your own SILK PAPER but I thought you really must see this post first – it contains an explanation of how silk ‘hankies’ are made.

Raising Silk Worms!

They say that interesting people have interesting friends. I must be pretty interesting, if you go by that!


Take a look at what one of my friends has been up to!

She’s been raising Silk Worms! I’m so jealous…

Now mind you this is not a large scale adventure. She just wants enough silk to make some Hankies for spinning. A Hankie is the form silk is generally accepted in for Hand Spinning into yarn.


The problem is, even at a small scale, they go through a tremendous amount of Mulberry Leaves each day.


Handfuls and handfuls of fresh Mulberry Leaves EVERY day. Naturally it is important to have easy access to a tree. And of course what goes in, must come out… So they need to be cleaned as well.


The commitment is not a very long one. Only about 5-7 weeks. Before long they will begin to spin. Simple toilet paper tubes or egg cartons provide the perfect, cozy spot for the worms to spin their cocoons.


One by one at first, then several at a time until everybody is neatly stowed away.


But seriously. How cool is this??


Soon there is nothing left but cocoons.


But then comes D-Day…

The cocoons are… well, roasted in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes. I know, sounds rather harsh after caring for them so carefully. But the thing to remember is that if the moth is allowed to emerge, they are doomed to die shortly after. They do not eat or fly. They simply mate, lay eggs and die. Now that’s harsh!

The next step is to simmer the cocoons in soapy water. This removes all the gummy stuff that holds them together. The carcass must be removed and then the silk is spread out on a frame about the size of a handkerchief (hence the name Hankies).

Then they are ready for spinning or dyeing. I hope to have some photos of that process to share with you soon.

As for me – I need to find a Mulberry Tree!

How to Make an e-reader Cover – a simple free pattern


Here are some very simple instructions for making a personal and distinctive e-reader cover, with minimal sewing.  You could easily hand sew this, so you don’t even need to get your sewing machine out!

It could also be adapted to any rectangular object  you’d like to cover – just scale it down for your mobile, or even a  special notebook – I mean one made from paper that you actually write on – smile.

How to make an e-reader cover

(originally published in Country Homes  Interiors, but when I followed the link at the end of this post, I couldn’t actually find it on their site!)

 Create this slip-on sleeve from just three pieces of fabric.

You will need

  • Approx half a metre of your chosen fabric – or left over scraps from other projects.  You could even quilt them!  On the other hand if you want to buy some, do have a look at the fabrics I sell in the fabrics section of my etsy shop – HERE, and the fabrics section of julzcraftsupplies on ebay – HERE.
  • Matching thread
  • Tacking thread

The e-reader cover is made up of two main pieces, plus a gusset strip that joins the front and back. \ Michael A Hill

The e-reader cover is made up of two main pieces, plus a gusset strip that joins the front and back. (illustrations by Michael A Hill)

Step 1) Measure your e-reader and cut out two pieces of fabric to that size, adding 4cm to the width and 5cm to the height.

Step 2) Cut one 4cm-wide strip of fabric long enough to fit around the two longer edges and one short edge of the main pieces – this will form the gusset of the cover (see illustration)

Stitch a hem to finish. \ Michael A Hill

Stitch a hem to finish.

Step 3) Right sides facing and matching raw edges, pin one long edge of the strip around the two side and bottom edge of one of the main pieces. Stitch, taking a 1.5cm seam, trim and press open seam.

Step 4) Repeat to join the remaining main piece of fabric to the second long edge of the strip.

Step 5) To hem the top raw edge of the cover turn under 5mm then 2cm, press and stitch (see illustration).

If you do make one from these instructions, why not send me a picture of it and maybe I can add it to the next Gallery of Your Work!



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