Mid Essex Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers

The July meeting was a talk called Indian Inspiration by Jennifer Hughes BA Cert Ed

To say this meeting was an explosion of colour style and glitz would not be an exaggeration, Jenifer has travelled extensively with her husband in Eastern countries and has a beautiful and envious collection to textiles and accessories which she brought to show usMid Essex Guild July 007
The production of cloth in India can be traced back to 2500 – 2000 BC Many of the fabrics were block printed these blocks were hand carved and handled with care as the slightest chip or mark would show in the printing and also the corners need to be matched perfectly or the pattern will be flawed, a good example of block printing was Jenifer’s own dress. Mid Essex Guild July 006
Another way of creating beautiful fabric is the resist method or Tie Dying; there are many different techniques one of which is Ikat which is a way of wrapping either the warp or weft of yarn before dying and weaving to give traditional patterns. These can be multi-coloured and the wraps are undone numerically as the different coloured dye bathes are used.
Jennifer showed us many Sari length which are produced in beautiful colours and fabulous embroidery, one end being plain to make a small blouse and the Glitzy end to go over the shoulder to show off ones husbands wealth.

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I particularly liked the black sari trimmed with gold embroidery.

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We saw the most beautiful wedding skirt (Ghagra) the veil to go over the face (odhani) which Jennifer modelled for us.

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she also modelled a piece which we thought was a hat with a tail at the back to keep off the sun but the padded head piece was for balancing a water pot, all again beautifully made and embroidered

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Not all the items were for women there was a man’s Cashmere shawl in tapestry weave dating back to 1820 and a ‘man bag’ four sided for keeping tobacco and other such necessities.

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There was also a piece of flower work, not made since the Hindu and Muslim split stitched from the back.

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This was a most interesting talk and only one of many that Jennifer gives.

The following day Jennifer held a Shibori Workshop when some Guild members were able to learn the wrapping and tie dying techniques.

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This workshop was a follow on from Jennifer’s talk on Indian Inspiration, and it certainly was an inspiration!

The first thing we learned was a Kamosage Knot, which enabled us to tie the fabric securely and then when necessary just pull and it easily comes undone (too easily in my case) this is used in a wrapping technique such as Ne-maki shibori (thread resist rings) very effective, it seemed the most popular was the Arashi (storm pattern) which resembles lightening, the fabric is wrapped tightly around a cylinder tied around with string or thread pushed together into folds, the finished effect was stunning and a success every time.

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Many of the techniques were stitched and a very effective pattern was Mokume (wood grain) which comprised of horizontal rows of running stitches, pulled up very tightly to resist the dye.

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Jennifer was very patient with us and our questions and carefully demonstrated each technique and had examples of each stage of each process and the finished effect.

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We has two dye bathes of Dylon cold water dye one a beautiful raspberry red and a denim blue both colours were stunning when completed.

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We have only scratched the surface of this wonderful and practical art form and I am sure many members will continue to experiment and create beautiful works of art that are practical too

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Jennifer does talks on textiles from Asian countries, e.g. Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, India, China & Japan; & various textile techniques e.g. ikat, batik, embroidery, patchwork. Workshops on topics such as shibori, small bags, funky hats, she can be contacted via Email: seatex@Tiscali.co.uk

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And this was my results I am so inspired I shall be doing more watch out all my friends and family will be getting tie dye scarves for Christmas







About brentwoodprop

Just loving life, carrying my camera and searching for beauty!
This entry was posted in All things wooly, Fashion, Hobbies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Mid Essex Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers

  1. Man bags are not the new thing they are made out to be to the modern man then! And I do like the notion that the glitzy bits of the saris worn over the shoulder are to show off the husband’s wealth…I never knew about that despite seeing Indian ladies around me all the time mostly in full native dress. Fascinating how much intricacy and detailed care goes into creating them. Shows how ignorant we in the West can be sometimes! Definitely an eye opener, and the tie dying is great, lovely presents 🙂
    Wolfie hugs 🙂

  2. knitspiration says:

    love the shibori pics! makes me want to do some more- I need to find a deep enough pot to put a bit of pipe in! Loved seeing you again the other day at Fibre East. Love Louise (spin city) xx

  3. Thanks Susan very interesting Love Jan

  4. Denise Journeaux says:

    I was very impressed with the talk and workshop by Jennifer Hughes on Asian textiles and would like to contact her to come to the Portsmouth and District Embroiderery Guild .
    Hope you are able to give me her details .
    Many thanks
    Denise Journeaux

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