Category Archives: textile art

The History of Weaving in India

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This is a fascinating and well researched article I found this week on “International THE NEWS”.  I have just added the links and some pictures.

It’s one of those pieces that you find out stuff you never knew, whether or not you are interested in history or weaving – smile!

Weaving history

271282_9853525_magazineJanuary 22, 2018.  By Pooja Dawani

The Indian sub-continent has a rich and ancient history of textile art and exports, with the heritage spanning almost 5,000 years. It’s been found that fabric-making was an important part of people’s lives even at the time when the Indus Valley Civilisation flourished.

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Excavated ruins of Mohenjo-daro, Sindh province, Pakistan, showing the Great Bath in the foreground. Mohenjo-daro, on the right bank of the Indus River, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first site in South Asia to be so declared.

The excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro reveal that the spinning wheel or the charkha was an essential part of the sub-continental household. Other than practices of resist-dyeing, hand-painting, and embroidery, the Indus Valley people were masters in the art of weaving.

The Vedic Aryans and the Buddhists who settled in this region after the Indus Valley Civilization also used the charkha. The entire cloth-making process which was done by hand, involved great skill and the sub continental textiles were unrivalled for their excellence. Foreign travellers like Marco Polo (1288) and Tavernier (1660) wrote in detail about the excellence of the subcontinent’s cotton fabrics and there are many accounts of our textiles being exported to trade centres widely separated geographically, like Rome, Zanzibar, Java, Bali and Egypt.

When the Mughals ruled the subcontinent, hand spinning and weaving continued to be an important occupation and the era brought in use of gold and silver brocades, fine-figured muslins, fabulous weaves, printed and painted fabrics, exquisite carpets, intricate embroideries and endless variety and designs being produced on a mass scale.

220px-Jahangir_investing_a_courtier_with_a_robe_of_honour_watched_by_Sir_Thomas_Roe,_English_ambassador_to_the_court_of_Jahangir_at_Agra_from_1615-18,_and_others

Jahangir investing a courtier with a robe of honour, watched by Sir Thomas Roe, English ambassador to the court of Jahangir at Agra from 1615 to 1618, and others

Emperors Akbar and Jahangir took personal interest in developing the crafts, and the fabrics from this region became even more exquisite and ornate.By the 16th century, foreign traders including the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French, and the British had begun to come to India from the West and by the 17th century, the English traders had set-up the East India Trading Company with the main object of importing Indian goods including textiles. With this fascinating background, it is no wonder that modern day Pakistan, like neighbouring India and Bangladesh, still has a huge industry centred on textiles.

 

The textile sector in Pakistan contributes about 10 percent to the GDP which for 2016 is stated as about $283.70 billion. So the total size of the textile sector comes to about $28 billion. The sector contributes nearly one-fourth of industrial value-added and provides employment to about 40 percent of industrial labour force. Textile exports for Pakistan are valued at around $10.29 billion.

Even though the last decade saw the textile industry of Pakistan flounder in the face of incessant power and gas cuts, the textile industry seems to have bounced back as bank advances to the sector were record high in 2016.

Under Textile Policy 2015-19, Rs64.15 billion will be spent to increase the exports of textile and clothing items from the existing $13 billion to $26 billion by 2019. Pakistan is the fourth largest producer of cotton in the world and holds the largest spinning capacity in Asia after China and India.

A recent report issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reveals that year-on-year growth in textile sector advances has been Rs90 billion in 2016 in contrast to the net retirement of Rs30 billion in 2015.

Pakistan FashionWith this resurgence of the industry, recently a lot of interest has been shown in reviving the craft of Pakistan textile art. This year’s Fashion Pakistan Week Spring/Summer Show also focused on the revivalist trend of ethnic crafts and embroideries, and many designers retraced their steps and went back to their roots in search of design inspiration.

Focusing on reviving old art forms that are indigenous to the region and using them in modern designs, not only helps empower the craftsmen who have been trained in centuries’ old crafts by their forefathers, but also promotes the previously disappearing native crafts that are threatened by extinction otherwise.

Pakistan is home to many beautiful crafts like woven textiles and embroidered products from Swat and other regions. While weaving is carried out in many major cities, Swat in particular is a long established weaving centre whose blankets are mentioned even in early Buddhist texts. Or the embroidered textiles and leather crafts from Balochistan which are used to make shawls, caps, vests and an assortment of dresses. In Sindh, different types of woven textiles are a common sight in the cities of Hyderabad, Khairpur, Hala and Thatta.

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Sindhi ajrak

Ajrak, a unique pattern produced in Sindh is printed on shawls and caps and has become a unique symbol of Sindhi culture. Similarly, phulkari from Multan, block-printing from Lahore, chunri, and rilli work are all artful displays of the rich heritage of Pakistan.

Some local brands have invested in bringing these traditional textile designs into the mainstream.

One such revival story is that of the hand-woven khaddar, which had all but disappeared from conventional fashion.

Khaddar is a natural fibre cloth made out of cotton, silk or wool and has a long history in the sub-continent. Khaddar’s revival in India was advocated by Gandhi who envisioned the versatile fabric as a panacea to India’s poverty and the cloth became the symbol of nation’s struggle for freedom.

In Pakistan, the revival of handloom weaving can be principally credited to a local start-up, Khaadi. The brand has been chiefly responsible for ushering in the ‘khaddar culture’.

Despite being a major producer and exporter of superior quality cloth for decades, the boom of fashion in the country is a fairly recent phenomenon and Pakistani designers have caught the eye of many outside the country. Brands have played a vital role in transforming a manufacturing focused textile industry to a more holistic market that also encompasses a focus on retail and fashion. Although developing rapidly, these two areas are still in their nascent stages it promises to blossom into something befitting our splendid legacy.

Christmas Fabrics are back!

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You may remember that I said that some of my stock was in storage after the landslip.

I finally managed to do a day trip to Ystalyfera to check the house last week – I’m not allowed to stay overnight – health & safety – and for once I agree with this measure!

I also managed to collect my stock.  Thanks to everyone who gave me a hand, my local councillor included, who is keeping an eye on the house for me, Gabe, Lara & John, and Bruce who provided cups of tea – smile – and especially my cousin whose help was above and beyond!

It was still very tiring tho’ –  I could hardly walk the next day – and I have just about surfaced with enough energy to list the fabrics on etsy!   More stuff to come, but this is just a quick post to show you what is now available!

 

I also have a few more, that somehow didn’t end up in this collage.  As you can see not all of them are specifically festive – prices vary – all are 100% cotton.

For the moment I am listing more stock on etsy than ebay  simply because I was able to retrieve the information on my old listings, and could just renew them!  I appreciate that a large proportion of my customers usually use ebay, but at the moment, it would cost too much to list nearly 100 items there too, as I have had quite a long break from online selling.

However, if you don’t want to register with etsy, you can still have a look at the listings there – and are welcome to buy direct – all transactions go thro’ paypal, which will give you the same protection.

The Free Postage Offer on etsy ends on 20 October – don’t miss out!

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Just a quick reminder……

new etsy banner

Buy two or more items from my Etsy shop and pay NO postage!  

Click on this link to take you to the shop:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/julzcraftsupplies?coupon=NEWZFROMJULZOFFER

Your free postage will be applied automatically at checkout.  If you get to my shop by any other route, there is a box for the coupon code – please enter NEWZFROMJULZOFFER in the box to get your free postage.  I am offering this discount to all international customers as well as UK customers.

This coupon is valid from Friday 6 October to Friday 20 October only.

For more information, please see my earlier post HERE

Make your own Silk Paper – the Ironing Method

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handmade silk paper – probably made by the wet method

There are two basic ways to make silk paper, the wet method and the ironing method.  The wet method involves soaking all your ingredients in a ‘bath’, and dipping a framed gauze grid into it, which you allow to dry into a sheet of paper.  This method is the ‘usual’ way to make all handmade paper, often from cotton rags or recycled paper strips.

The ironing method is for gummed silk only – the natural gum in unwashed silk fibres, bonds the fibres together, when sprayed with water and then heated with an ordinary iron.

I wrote the tutorial below a couple of years ago, and am copying it here again, because some of you might like to try it out – and if you give it a try now, you’ll probably find that you get hooked, and can make some lovely gift items in time for Christmas.

Of course the other reason I’m repeating it, is that I have put together a pack of all the fibres you will need to try this method out – available for sale on both ebay & etsy – £9.99. (If you buy from etsy – see my special offer for free postage HERE.). I’ll be listing the individual silk fibres as well in the next few days, so that you can choose which ones you want to use, without buying the kit.

A4 silk ironing pack_Fotor

A4 pack with everything you need – £9.99

My first attempts are recorded in this tutorial, and I have to say, that they aren’t all that special – hopefully,  I will get better at it, now I have a proper work table, and can have another try!

Please do send me pictures of your own attempts – it would be great to see them, and when I have enough from more than three or four of my customers, I’ll put them all up in another blog post, so that we can all learn from each other – smile.

I also intend to put up another blog with a tutorial on the wet method of making silk paper – so do check back here – or even better, why don’t you sign up to follow this blog! (see the options in the column on the right of this text – if you are viewing this on your phone, you may not be able to see it without some adjustments- smile)

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)

and/or

 

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

I have put together a pack with the basics for you…depending of what size you make, it should be enough for 5- 10 pieces. See above for how to buy it!

 

Instructions:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

DSCF1868

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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

A Special Offer for all my readers ……

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Etsy have started a new ‘coupon’ scheme, so I thought I’d try it!

This banner is what you will see when you go to my Etsy Shop:
julz craft supplies

Lampeter, Wales 565 Sales On Etsy since 2012   Favourite shop (458)  5 out of 5 stars        

The Special Offer is –

Buy two or more items from my Etsy shop and pay NO postage!    

Click on this link to take you to the shop:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/julzcraftsupplies?coupon=NEWZFROMJULZOFFER

This coupon is valid from Friday 6 October to Friday 20 October only.

Update 9 October:  I have now checked with etsy about how their coupon works – if you click the link to get to my shop, your free postage will be applied automatically at checkout.  If you get to my shop by any other route, there is a box for the coupon code – please enter NEWZFROMJULZOFFER in the box to get your free postage.  I am offering this discount to all international customers as well as UK customers.

 

cropped-3vert-dry-stone-wall-version-2.jpgNB:  You will have to register with etsy if you have never been there before, to take advantage of this offer, which I am also emailing to the customers on my mailing list as a NEWZ FROM JULZ.  

However, anyone can access my shop without registering, and if you would like to order without going thro’ etsy – you can just send me an order and I will give you the same deal.
Please see the buying direct page.

BELOW ARE A FEW EXAMPLES OF WHAT YOU CAN FIND THERE

 so far I have approx 50 different items listed.

A4 Pack of SILK FIBRES for making your own Silk Paper, using the Ironing Method - with link to instructions on julzcrafts.com
A4 Pack of SILK FIBRES for making your own Silk Paper, using the Ironing Method – with link to instructions on julzcrafts.com – All you need to make silk paper – including gummed cocoon strippings, throwsters waste, silk hankies and a few other fibres to get you started.
£9.99
50 gm Pack of White MULBERRY SILK HANKIES For Spinning, Felting, Paper Making  & Scrapbooking- approx 26 cm square
50 gm Pack of White MULBERRY SILK HANKIES For Spinning, Felting, Paper Making & Scrapbooking- approx 26 cm square
£6.99.  There is a separate listing for a small sample: £3.99
6 x 4.5 inch piece of Luxurious Mixed PINK/Green SILK LAP - can be used for Quilting , Spinning, Felting, Fibre Arts & Paper Making
6 x 4.5 inch piece of Luxurious Mixed PINK/Green SILK LAP – can be used for Quilting , Spinning, Felting, Fibre Arts & Paper Making
£8.99.  There is a range of colours also listed.
IRON ON Personalised Garment LABELS - 4 designs, for your handmade clothes and gifts - pack of 4 (2nd listing) - Free Worldwide Postage
IRON ON Personalised Garment LABELS – 4 designs, for your handmade clothes and gifts – pack of 4 (2nd listing)  There are 8 designs in total to choose from.
£4.50
100 gm cones pure MULBERRY SILK - BLACK Flecked with multicoloured cotton neps -2 thicknesses warp & weft yarn for weaving knitting crochet
100 gm cones pure MULBERRY SILK – BLACK Flecked with multicoloured cotton neps -2 thicknesses warp & weft yarn for weaving knitting crochet
£9.99
200 gm Pure COTTON WARPING Yarn, light cream, for Weaving Warp & Weft , Knitting, Crochet, Macrame etc
200 gm Pure COTTON WARPING Yarn, light cream, for Weaving Warp & Weft , Knitting, Crochet, Macrame etc
£8.99
SALE PRICE: Miniature Rachel of Greenfield Quilt Kit - Spotty Hen 13in X 15in - Free UK Postage.
SALE PRICE: Miniature Rachel of Greenfield Quilt Kit – Spotty Hen 13in X 15in. There are 3 designs to choose from.
£23.99
Pair of Stainless Steel Spinners and Felters MINI CARDERS - great for blending small amounts of fibres, right size for CHILDREN'S hands
Pair of Stainless Steel Spinners and Felters MINI CARDERS – great for blending small amounts of fibres, right size for CHILDREN’S hands
£28.50
Luxury  WOODEN SOAP CUTTER - Allows you to vary the thickness of your slices - robustly made - should last for years
Luxury WOODEN SOAP CUTTER – Allows you to vary the thickness of your slices – robustly made – should last for years
£29.50
WOLF fabric PATCH Badge - iron or sew on your jeans,  jackets, caps
WOLF fabric PATCH Badge – iron or sew on your jeans, jackets, caps
£4.50. There are several other badges to choose from.

If you have been following this blog for the last couple of months,

you will know that I have moved recently, and have more stock to collect and list, when I can manage it, but what is listed on etsy is most of the stock I have here at the moment.  I still have those lovely fabrics and gift items, but – unfortunately, not here!

 I also sell on ebay, and there are a few of the same items listed there, as well as some other auction lots.  You are welcome to check them out HERE.  However the Special Offer does not apply to any purchases on ebay.

If you have problems getting your free postage on Etsy, please let me know.

I have never used their coupons before and I’m not sure how they work!
It does seem you have to arrive at julzcraftsupplies via this link.
I’m sure you will also want to browse the rest of the site, so if you want to return to my shop, please use the link again – or to just check stuff without accessing the
FREE POSTAGE OFFER
please type in julzcraftsupplies, in the search box.  Alternatively, just type in “julz” and you will see a list of other shops with julz in their name, and you will find me there – smile.
happy shopping

PS:  I seem to be having trouble with the spacing of this text – I’ve gone back and forth       adding extra lines between the paragraphs, but the system isn’t responding!

 

PS: Has anyone tried Branch Weaving?

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If you have, it would be great to see how you got on.

If you’d like to send me a photo, I will send you my email address if you use the contact me page, and as soon as I have enough, I’ll compile a new listing of them, and we can all share our ideas, and maybe put them in the ‘show & tell‘ archive!

I confess, I picked out a forked branch, but not got round to using it yet!

Please see my previous post – Branch Weaving with flowers

as well as the original tutorial for weaving on a branch