Developed in 4th century Egypt, Coptic books have beautiful linked stitches that stretch across the spine. These exposed stitches are durable yet flexible and allow the book to lay completely flat—perfect for a sketchbook or journal. In this introductory course, students will complete the binding of a small, functional Coptic book. Students are invited but not required to bring decorative papers to use for their book's cover.
Thursday, May 2
Textile Arts Center, Manhattan
Explore the sculptural potential of textiles with twined baskets. The introduction to this course focuses on form; in the first half of class, students will begin a twined basket and manipulate its shape. In the second half, we'll modify color and develop visual patterning. Students will use basic and easy-to-find materials, but additional experimental materials such as natural/foraged materials, wire, and found objects will be accessible for further exploration. We will discuss finishing methods, but participants will leave with a collection of in-progress baskets (plus additional materials to continue twining at home–or on the go!)
Sunday, May 5
Textile Arts Center, Brooklyn
NATURAL DYEING with LOCAL PLANTS
Get to know the colorful bounty that your local area has to offer by working with fresh plants foraged from and grown in the nearby ecosystem. Natural dyeing can be fun, but the experience of using seasonal & regionally relevant plants as opposed to pre-extracted and imported powders provides a real connection to this age old process. Students will come away with an understanding of natural dyeing with fresh raw dye stuffs, as well as various types of fabrics in a palette of regional colors. All materials are provided, but students are welcome to bring clothing and natural fabrics in need of color.
NATURAL DYEING 101
In 12-hour class, students will learn to extract color from natural dye sources. Students will learn how to prepare fabric to accept dyes, select and use mordants, and modify color through pH adjustment and post-dye treatments. Students will leave with the beginnings of a swatchbook along with sample fabrics from a variety of natural dye processes including immersion dyeing, bundle dyeing, rust dyeing, and the organic indigo vat. All materials are provided, but students are welcome to bring clothing and natural fabrics in need of color.
INTRO to SHIBORI DYEING
Shibori is an ancient Japanese resist-dye technique that involves creasing, folding, stitching, binding and knotting the fabric before dyeing to create beautiful and well-defined patterns. In this class, students will learn the basics of shibori resist techniques and discover endless options for creating blue-and-white patterns on cloth. Students will also learn how to develop and maintain an organic indigo dye vat. Fabric will be provided, but feel free to bring along some light colored natural fabrics to experiment with!
Students will learn the basics of extracting color from plants using the water-wise bundle dye method. With plants, heat, and pressure, students will create natural, sustainable, and colorful prints on cloth. Students will learn various wrapping and extraction methods, as well as explore the use of different mordants to create color modifications.
INTRO TO ROPEMAKING
Learn the process of making handmade rope using repurposed fabrics, found 'fibers' and natural materials. Create a unique strand of handmade rope to wrap a gift, wear on the body, or cherish as a handmade object. As they engage in twisting rope both individually and collectively, participants are invited to reflect on the histories of textile arts–communal, adaptable, and supported by women working together.
In this workshop students will learn the basics of Sashiko stitching, a traditional Japanese embroidery technique for both reinforcing and patterning fabric. Using just a simple running stitch, an amazing array of tessellating geometric patterns can be achieved. Please bring along 1-2 pieces of clothing in need of mending and we will revive and beautify our wardrobes by adding a beautiful layer of hand stitching. Clothing should be medium weight woven fabric, such as a blouse or blue jeans.
In this 3-hour workshop, students will learn the chemical processes of dyeing with rust. Students will explore direct contact printing with rusty objects, immersion dyeing with a rust dyebath, and tannin dyeing with black tea. Students will employ simple folding techniques adapted from the Japanese Shibori method to create pattern on cloth. All materials are provided, but students are welcome to bring light colored clothing and natural fabrics.
In this workshop participants will learn to mend, patch, and adorn worn cloth with hand-stitching. Students will be introduced to a variety of visible mending techniques, such as traditional embroidery methods, Japanese Boro and Sashiko, darning and needle weaving, Kantha (running stitch embroidery), and freeform/decorative stitches. Methods for direct visible mending as well as layering with patches will be explored. Students are encouraged to bring garments or samples in need of mending, as well as beloved scraps and adornments to include in the mending process.
WEAVING + ROPE MAKING WITH PLANTS
Learn the intuitive and meditative process of making rope by hand. Students will use naturally dyed fabric and plants to create a unique strand of handmade rope. Using their rope, naturally dyed yarn, and local plants, participants will construct a small tapestry loom and create a weaving to take home.
Reimagine used garments as versatile, functional vessels in this workshop. Participants will learn coiling, a traditional basketry technique, while incorporating color and texture from fabrics in the Eileen Fisher Renew collection. Each participant will design and construct a unique bowl or basket. All materials included.
BUNDLE DYE: VALENTINE’S EDITION
Students will learn the basics of extracting color from red roses and other plants using the water-wise bundle dye method. With heat and pressure, students will create natural, sustainable, and colorful prints on cloth. We will discuss various wrapping and extraction methods, and explore the use of different mordants to create color modifications. Fresh flower bouquets and dried plants will be used; rosé and rose-themed treats provided.