The Wild Textile

A Modern Hand Weaving & Textiles Studio

 

Hand Woven & Naturally Dyed

Handcrafting one sustainable textile at a time in Portland, Maine, USA.
Exploring traditional techniques with a modern twist.

 
 
A striped warp ready for weaving scarves, table runners or linens.

A striped warp ready for weaving scarves, table runners or linens.

Hand Weaving

A method of producing textiles in which two sets of yarns are interlaced at 90 degree angles, forming a cloth. The cloth is woven on a loom, which is a wooden machine that tightly holds the warp in place, and allows the weaver to design different patterns and weave structures (i.e. plain weave and twills).

Weavings are comprised of two main components - a warp, and a weft.  Prior to weaving the warp is attached to the loom, running vertically. Throughout the weaving process the weft is coursed horizontally through the warp and acts as 'the filler' that completes the cloth. 

I typically use conventionally dyed cotton, bamboo and tencel (a sustainable wood pulp spun into fiber), for both my warp & weft threads. However, when practicing certain color applications, I use cotton and linen that are naturally dyed here in my home studio.

Sewing

Many of the textiles in my shop require tedious sewing to ensure the longevity of the product. For this I look to my trusty Swiss made Bernina sewing machine. While some days I am using it to roll hems on a finished weaving, other days I am assembling quilt tops made from printed cotton fabrics. Table linens and zipper pouches made from fabrics that I have dyed in-house, or from a new sustainable fabric constructed of layers of real cork are also a few of the items that run under the needle of my machine.

In addition to rolling hems and making pouches, I have spent years perfecting the joining technique used to complete my woven infinity scarves on the sewing machine. This gives them a finish that allows them to be machine washed and enjoyed for years on end. No matter the project, a lot of time and patience goes into handling each and every piece.


Color Applications

My product line consists of more than just hand weavings. Napkins, bunting flags and wine bags are colored here in my own studio using only natural dyes. I use color from wherever I can find it; be it the local market, urban settings or my compost bucket. Color is seasonal and my shop reflects this constant transition. All of my ikat and shibori products are pigmented using natural dye techniques.


Indigo + Madder root take the stage in this linen fabric resisted using wooden blocks.

Indigo + Madder root take the stage in this linen fabric resisted using wooden blocks.

Shibori

An ancient Japanese dyeing technique that includes infinite ways of binding, clamping, or folding a fabric or cloth into patterns to resist dye applications in specific areas. This results in beautiful geometric patterns designated by the dyer. Using multiple shibori techniques in a single cloth can offer complex appearance. 

 

If you have any more questions about the processes mentioned above; hand weaving or color applications or natural dyeing, just ask! I would be more than happy to explain in detail about anything that I make. 

Ikat

A form of resist dyeing that is commonly produced in India, Asia and Japan. This technique is used to pattern textiles before they are woven on a loom. Bundles of warp strings are bound and tightly wrapped into designs, then dyed. The bindings resist the dye, leaving white or lightened areas on the warp when the ties are removed. Multiple steps of wrapping and dyeing can be implemented to achieve a more intricate design.