Thursday, 12 July 2018

Handmade Fabrics; Supporting traditional textile making

This fabric was gifted to me by The Delhi Store.  My love for this fabric is real, and not sponsored!

As a maker, I value handmade.

So many fabrics are mass produced that I feel like I'm falling into the "fast fashion" trap when I buy them, although I am making my garments I still wonder "who made my fabric"?

When I was contacted by The Delhi Store (soon to be launched as Fabrics & Notions website) I was thrilled!

Their fabrics are sourced directly from the Artisans across India and are all handmade.  There is something so special about sewing with handmade fabric!  To know I'm creating with my hands, with something from the hands of another maker gives me all the good feels!

Here is some info from the owner of The Delhi Store:

Eclectic collection of handloom fabrics, hand block printed fabrics and vintage sarees.

I've been fascinated with textiles for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, I was in awe of my granny's and mother's beautiful saris. I remember, that once my grandma gave me an old blue silk georgette saree to play with, that had beautiful metallic dots all over, and I used it as a canopy over a small tree, and imagined it was a beautiful night sky full of bright, little stars.

After completing college and working in IT education for a while I left my job as I wasn't enjoying it much. I have always been the creative type and an admirer of handicrafts of all sorts.
I am especially drawn to the centuries old art of making hand printed, handwoven, hand embroidered textiles.

Within India, there are so many types of weaving, printing and embroidery techniques that are practiced. Sadly, these techniques are dying a slow death, as the artisans don't get what they deserve for their hard work.This is my small endeavour to save these intriguing techniques from vanishing completely.

You might get such fabrics much cheaper elsewhere but think before you buy; are you contributing to sweatshop practices?

Isn't that inspiring?!!

 With the beautiful cotton chambray I was gifted I made a self drafted elastic waisted midi skirt (with pockets I copied from an 80's McCalls pattern and use whenever I can!!).  The top I made is the top from the Kate Tea Dress by Designer Stitch.  This dress pattern also gives you the options of making separates, which I think is awesome!  I added 5cm to the top length for my height. 

The fabric is beautiful quality; much better quality than the price would suggest!  Handmade fabric always has slight irregularities, however it's part of its charm.  This fabric is lightweight, but not sheer, with great drape.  It will be perfect for summer!

I used some decorative stitches around the neckline of my top (you can read more about that soon on the Husqvarna Viking Australia blog).  I'm still having so much fun with my Designer Jade 35 machine!  I love that it feels like a machine I won't "outgrow" as I'm always discovering new stitches!

If you follow me on IG you'll know that I've just come back from Bali.  I was SO inspired by and impressed with the skills of the Balinese textile Artisans.  I was lucky enough to see cotton being dyed and to watch hand weaving which was truly hypnotic!  

Beautifully woven plains, breathtaking Ikat's and dreamy batik fabrics are all made on the island of Bali.  Sadly, the traditional textile industry is diminishing due to industrialization.  Machine made fabrics are faster, cheaper and can be made in larger quantities.  Young people are not learning the textile arts from their elders because they can't make a living from it. I was really touched by that fact, and it has been on my heart to do what I can to help support these beautiful people and their amazing skills and traditions.  

I'm proud to be a maker, supporting other makers!

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