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Complex Silk: Selective Degumming

  • Maiwa East 1310 Odlum Drive Vancouver, BC, V5L 3M3 Canada (map)

With Amy Putansu

$495 [Includes $130 lab fee] Class limit 16. Sep 20-23 (Thu-Sun) 10am-4pm.

The unique beauty of silk in its natural state (raw silk) has a crisp feel and incredible fibre strength. The protective protein layer is sometimes called “gum.” Removing this protein using controlled methods is a simple process that creates subtle patterning of white-on-white and textural contrast. Areas of fine and supple silk are revealed, distinct from the opacity of the protected raw silk patterns.

The transformed silks are then dyed, emphasizing tonal variations when the remaining raw silk areas absorb dye differently than the treated areas. Resist techniques and various dye colors can be layered to build complex and intriguingly original textiles.
This workshop will offer students instruction and hands-on experimentation with a variety of appropriate resist techniques (such as itajime, and arashi shibori). Students will learn the recipes for degumming silks and mordanting for silks in preparation for plant dyeing. Finally, students will apply colour from plant dyes, layering colour upon pattern over the course of four days.

Previous natural dye experience will be useful.

Amy joins us from North Carolina, USA.

Supply List PDF

Amy Putansu has been making cloth since she began her textile education at Rhode Island School of Design in 1991. Her passion and area of expertise is weaving by hand, particularly multiple layer fabrics and ondulé. She has also designed cloth for jacquard that was woven at the Oriole Mill, and designed and woven interiors and garment yardage on AVL dobby looms. In 2008 Amy became a full-time educator at Haywood Community College in the renowned Professional Crafts Program in the mountains of western North Carolina.  

Amy grew up on the rocky shoreline of coastal Maine. The stark, raw nature of the coastal environment has influenced both her aesthetic sensibility and her approach to materials.