Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Colour Sensitivity

Is the world of strong conflicting colours colliding with the world of harmonious and soft colours? Is there a visual unrest? Riot in colour? And visual calmness? Should one take sides?

One has no memory of how a world with natural dyes looks like. Anilines brought a wealth of tones and shades and above all speeded up the process of colouring textiles.

Humans are realizing "globalization". For a growing number of people globalization also means the search for natural dyes. Nepal? India? Nigeria? Why not at our doorstep?

Natural dyes bite only in natural fibers. Natural fibers with natural dye colours are thought after more and more as they are better for the health. Natural fibers end up by being not that expensive. Acrylic yarn and commercial dyes bare on Petrol prices, that are often on the increase. So, it is to believe that long term wool is economically better then some man made fibers...let us all make this wish!!
Tita Costa

Friday, January 19, 2007

Grandma´s legacy

In our Portuguese grandma´s kitchen there used to be some oven mitts like these two. They were made in crochet with all the end bits of cotton tying-up string collected from various shopping parcels.
At present, people use synthetic padded gloves that stick to the oven tray the first time one used them....progress?
This entry in my blog is a tribute to those days where scrap string was gathered in the kitchen drawer to be crocheted later and it is also a memory to these useful and unique objects that really are...handy, economical and well designed for their function. Long lasting indeed!!! Are they a peasant heirloom? I do not want any other oven mitts. Long live my ones and also my Grandma´s legacy!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dog´s fur

As a spinner I love to spin dogs fur. This cardigan and the purses are all produced with the fur of our two "Serra da Estrela" dogs, a mountain shepherd breed from the Portuguese mountains. They are clever, funny, and quite big. Fluffier than mohair.
I can answer the F.A.Q´s----No, the dog is not sheared but combed and groomed when it is moulting!!!
Nevertheless a dog´s parlour ( gives me very good fur to spin.
In pré-colonial North America dog´s fur was the raw material for native rugs. Sheep´s wool was later introduced by the Europeans. Their woolly-dogs have since been extinct.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Oficina do fio´s launch

As a new comer to the blogger community, I am still to understand what this is really all about...
But I must introduce myself: someone with a strong crush on textiles. A happy day is a day weaving; spinning; dying; etc, etc...
At present I am dying a lot and trying to commercialize this prime quality wool dyed with plant dyes. Being amongst pots and pans in the kitchen to produce this wonderful colours is a long lasting love. One loves cooking, one is an artist, so one loves plant dying. This love for yarn made me launch "Oficina do Fio" which translates for "Yarn Studio".