Tuesday, April 1, 2014

An Organic Cotton Standard -- thumbnail sketch

Many producers of organic cotton follow the Global Organic Textile Standard. This is a means by which producers and vendors can become certified. I have been buying GOTS certified cotton. What does it mean to use certified organic cotton? Is it really that different than non-certified non-organic cotton?  Here's a quick summary, taken from the GOTS website:

Only textile products that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibres can become GOTS certified. All chemical inputs such as dyestuffs and auxiliaries used must meet certain environmental and toxicological criteria. The choice of accessories is limited in accordance with ecological aspects as well. A functional waste water treatment plant is mandatory for any wet-processing unit involved and all processors must comply with minimum social criteria. The key criteria of GOTS, its quality assurance system and the principles of the review and revision procedure are summarised in this section.

Over the next posts, we'll explore the detail behind the summary.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Why Organic Cotton Matters

After reading about the environmental and human consequences of the cultivation and processing of conventional cotton, I'm on a mission to limit my offerings to organic cottons and hemp.  I still have a lot of conventional cotton in my store, but I am no longer ordering bolts of conventional cotton. Going forward, I will be hand dyeing only certified organic cotton cloth.  Although organic cotton costs more for me to buy (and I have to pass that cost on to my buyers), it's an easy decision to make. If you are a crafter, sewer or mom or dad, I think buying organic is important. The more consumers demand organic products, the more will be produced. The incentives to use genetically modified seed will diminish, as will the demand for pesticides and herbicides. It's a long term process, but everyone can do their part.  Here's a brief article about why buying organic cotton matters:

Organic Cotton Benefits


New in Store

Here are some new items in my store:  


Desert Green Shibori


I used some really old remazol liquid dye on this one. It came out much lighter green than I expected, but I like it. It's a very muted khaki green on a silk and hemp blend fabric.




 Organic Cotton Gauze

Here's a swaddle cloth made from organic cotton. Would also be fabulous as a foundation for a fiber art piece. Lots of dark medium and pale mottled blues on a super soft fabric. It's a double gauze, so it's semi sheer but sturdier than the single layer gauze. Could be used as is as a wonderful scarf too!

Organic Cotton and Hemp Saffron Orange



This is a great fabric for fiber arts. It is really easy to hand sew because it has a lower threadcount than most broadcloth cottons, but it is very sturdy. I love that it is made with certified organic cotton and hemp.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

More (Ad)Ventures Round the Color Wheel: Split Complements

Honestly I think one of my favorite things to do on this planet is play with colors. It's fun and a great stress reliever. And the results can be applied to so many aspects of a designing life....be it a quilt, a crocheted scarf, curtains, a hand made dress...or your living room. Color is really crucial for me. There is not one room in my house that has white walls! I used to have all white walls and then slowly the color took over. I could never go back to white now.

Over the last couple of months, I've accumulated a pile of fat quarters of all different hues. Now comes the fun part of pairing them up into what I hope are pleasing combinations! When playing with fabric, I like to try interesting combinations that are lively. Analagous colors are always safe and predictable. For something with a slight edge, try a complementary blend or a split complement.

To make a split complement, take a couple of analogous colors and combine them with a color directly opposite on the color wheel.  It's especially nice I think if you can mix up the saturation levels too. Here I have combined three analogous hues, clockwise from bottom left:  aqua blue, spring green and aqua blue. I've added a blue red maraschino cherry as the complement. The cherry is a darker saturation than the analogous hues.

Jura Split Complement


Here's another split complement:




With this combination, I again kept the saturation level lower for the analogous colors and increased the saturation for the complementary color - violet. 

Another pleasing effect can be achieved by dialing down the saturation on the complementary hue.  Here's an example:


In this palette, orange yellow and orange red are deeply saturated, while their complement, a cerulean blue, is much less saturated. If all three were the same saturation level, I don't think it would be nearly as effective a color combination. Wouldn't these three colors look great in a quilt, or a printed fabric -- or a room?

More fun stuff later! If you haven't checked out ColourLovers before, here's the link to my page:

JFA on ColourLovers  I'll be adding more palettes as our adventures continue.



Friday, March 14, 2014

New in Store

I haven't posted here in ages.  Life has been so crazy and unexpected. Anyway, trying to put needle to thread and cloth to pole and create some shibori.  Here are a few recent pieces in my store now:

Coral Shibori


Sedge Green Silk Hemp

Sarah