One of the projects I've been working on since last summer is a collaboration with Weave a Real Peace; WARP. The organization is best described on their website:
Weave a Real Peace (WARP) is a networking organization of weavers, academics, and interested supporters who value the importance of textiles to communities around the world.
Founded in 1992, WARP has members from across the United States, Canada, Central and South American, Europe, Africa, and Asia. A newsletter is published quarterly telling of weaving, spinning, and dye cooperatives and other member projects from around the world. Once a year we come together for an annual meeting somewhere in the United States in a place rich in regional textile resources or history."
One of the WARP organizations is Mayan Hands: "...a small fair trade organization which works with more than two hundred women organized in twelve different cooperative groups. These talented weavers produce beautiful, high quality textiles which Mayan Hands is proud to market."
The project I'm working on is for a subgroup of Mayan Hands that involves approximately two dozen women who are learning the natural dye process for yarn using materials such as indigo, madder, cochineal, and logwood. Eight or so individuals, from the United States and from Guatemala, are working together to aid in teaching and perfecting the dye process. My role in the project is the design of kitchen towels which will be sold as kits via Cotton Clouds.
To begin, I wove two color gamps to see how the various colors would interact. One of them is shown here:
I wove them in a twill variation (4 harness) with an additional three colors for the weft; eight total. It's always fun to see what happens when one color crosses another, and often totally surprising.
I also wove a small sample with some of the lighter test colors that are being considered for another kit. I think these colors are lovely and would appeal to many weavers.
I'm waiting for a final decision about which colors will be offered in kit form; then I can weave the towels!
Via email, it has been a great pleasure to get to know Deborah Chandler, founder of WARP, and to be a part of the conversations between her and the team working on this project. I'm honored to be part of such a worthy project.