THE PROCESS: TEXTILE

Embracing sincere, organic and natural fabrics, connecting the wearer to the hands of makers and to the earth from which the fiber came.   

CREATING THE TEXTILE | 100% Organic Cotton

FARMING + HAND-PICKING ORGANIC FIBRE | Katyi Ya’a, San Juan Colorado, an indigenous mixteco village on the coast of Oaxaca.  

The CDS – Consejo de Desarrollo Sustentable San Juan Colorado A.C. – works with regional farmers to save these semi-rare seeds and to produce cotton for several manufacturers of natural cotton goods in Oaxaca.  Cotton is rain-fed and intercropped with corn, beans and pumpkin for the coastal community. 

DE-SEEDING, CARDING, SPINNING + WEAVING TO CREATE FABRIC | Khadi Oaxaca Co-operative, San Sebastian Rio Hondo

Artisans from Khadi partner, Katyiya’a, de-seed organic cotton fibres by hand and card them to prepare for hand spinning.  Local carpenters replicate the spinning wheel designed by Gandhi for every Khadi Oaxaca artisan to have their own. Artisans prepare the warp of the loom outside over several days before weaving the weft using the pedal or the back-strap loom to create a unique fabric that reflects dedicated skill. 

More on Khadi Oaxaca in JOURNAL (Coming soon) & Respectful fibres

CREATING THE TEXTILE | 100% Linen

FARMING + PREPARATION OF FIBRE | Linen is made from the cellulose fiber inside the stalk of the flax plant, which is grown annually, going from seed to plant in approximately three and a half months.  Through processes of retting (leaving the strong bast fibres of the flax stem to break down in water), drying, scotching (bending and hammering the stalks), brushing and sorting, the flexible bast fibres are utilised.

SPINNING + WEAVING TO CREATE FABRIC | Bast fibres are then separated leaving long fibres ready for spinning by hand into yarn.  The finished spun yarn is scoured or boiled to clean and finish the fibre for weaving into even weave mid-weight broadcloth linen.  Linen is one of the most minimally processed fibres available and all by products of the manufacturing process are 100% biodegradable. 

This lightweight linen has been sustainably machine woven and dyed at a traceable family-owned mill based in China that operates with fair living wages and is fully compliant with current REACH regulations, focusing on improving the health of workers and environmental effects by regulating the use of hazardous chemicals in manufacture. Currently sourced as chemically dyed.

CREATING THE TEXTILE | 100% Silk

FARMING + PREPARATION OF FIBRE | Silk fabric is made from silk fibres, a product of the silkworm.  There has been debate over the ethics of using silkworms for the production of silk, and some researchers are working to develop a way to effectively harvest silk from the cocoon without killing the worm. However, silkworms have been bred for silk production for over 4,700 years and, in that time-span, Silkworms no longer exist in the wild and cannot survive on their own. The worms must be human-fed, and they exclusively eat mulberry leaves. Silk farming is not perfect, and Rebecca wishes there were a way to produce a fibre of the same quality without causing any harm.

SPINNING + WEAVING TO CREATE FABRIC | Silk fabric is made from several filaments twisted together tightly and woven to create a subtle, textured finish. Rebecca only sources silk fabric as deadstock: end-of-line, designer excess – making use of beautiful silk fabric without waste, without contributing to the reproduction of new materials and instead making use of excess.  

More in | Respectful fibres

PART TWO:

The Process: Creating the Garment