Thursday, September 14, 2017

Review - Mo Kelman's Tenuous Balance



Mo Kelman brought the audience along on a journey of artistic discovery on September 7th. It was, to quote a surrealist inspiration, as beautiful as the chance juxtaposition of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table. Mo is known for her skeletal frameworks which are suspended tethered to the wall and covered with a skin of textile. Sometimes the skin is shibori but sometimes it is a more literal skin. 

The lecture went on under adverse circumstances as Granville Island was without power that night. About two hours before Mo was due to take the stage a transformer blew and completely eliminated power on the island. Maiwa rigged up a generator, added some candles and lanterns and the lecture wend on. It was, in fact, a most beautiful and magical evening.

For those of you who could not attend the lecture, there is an exhibition of Mo's sculptural textiles at the Silk Weaving Studio. It will remain up until September 22nd. We strongly encourage you to see it to fully appreciate her stunning work.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Review - Woven Symbols Global Patterns

Sara Goodman (left) and Mary Zicafoose (right) with the Goodweave Project.

On Wednesday September 6th Sara Goodman and Mary Zicafoose presented a joint lecture titled Woven symbols Global Patterns. It was a brilliant opening to the 2017 lecture series. Sara spoke about the GoodWeave Foundation and the remarkable work being done with symplocos - a plant based mordant (also known as a bioaccumulator of alum).

Sara was well matched by Mary who had the audience enthralled from the moment of her opening comments. Few lectures have carried the inspirational punch that Mary delivered on opening night. Mary has generously permitted us to quote from her talk and we selected her concluding remarks. Here they are:

In our field there is a mighty lust over materials; a love affair with the very sculptural form of our equipment. And fierce battles are fought over the political correctness of scale and the definition of self in relationship to technique. 

We must remember that the over and under manipulation of individual fibres into cloth is neither a heroic nor is it a precious activity. It is a simple repetitive process, which when plied with intention, artistic vision, and inspired craftsmanship becomes the agent for textile objects of legend. 

So, in closing tonight I must emphasize that creative work, your creative work, is not a selfish act, or a bid for attention, it is a vitally important gift to the world and every being in it. your unique personal voice exists to inspire and nudge the human race one millimetre further along on its path. 


Don’t undermine your gifts. Whether they are behind a loom, a laptop, a garden, or a soup kettle. Don’t hold back your vision. Don't cheat the world of your unique contribution. Create the life and the body of work that you and only you were born to make. Unabashedly. With not one apology, excuse, or bow to conformity. The clock is ticking and it is just time for all of us to do it. 



As of this posting there are a dwindling number of tickets left for The Art of Ajrakh with Jabbar and Adam Khatri on Thursday Septemeber 14.  Get your tickets here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Silk Ajrakh Shawls - Visit the New Collection!


NEW SILK AJRAKH SHAWLS IN STORE AND ONLINE





Ajrakh is the name of a cloth that has been blockprinted in the traditional method using natural dyes such as indigo, madder, and pomegranate. The ajrakh process is a long one, involving several steps of washing and scouring the cloth, then additional steps to mordant the cloth, and still more steps as each colour is either directly blockprinted or resist blockprinted with natural dyes. The order is of utmost importance as the layers of colour are built up and the traditional geometric ajrakh patterns emerge.
 

Producing an ajrakh involves entire communities: block cutters, dye farmers (for the many natural dyeplants), cloth merchants, and of course, the ajrakh craftspeople themselves (those who mordant, print, dye and design the cloth). While we assist in procurement of raw materials, maintaining high standards of quality, and product finishing, designs remain in the realm of the craftsperson.
 

Don't miss your chance to meet the artisans.

Jabbar and Adam Khatri's lecture and exhibition are this week.





THE ART OF AJRAKH

LECTURE
Thursday September 14th
$15 - Netloft Granville Island - 7:45pm (doors open at 7:30)

Traditional ajrakh block-printing is one of the most iconic crafts to survive into the twenty-first century. But ajrakh, as practiced by the Khatris of the Kutch Desert, has done much more than just survive; it has flourished and expanded to become a craft with a keen sense of tradition and a vision for how this tradition can be taken into the future by a new generation of ajrakh artisans.




STILL IN PRINT: AJRAKH TEXTILES

EXHIBITION ONE NIGHT ONLY

Saturday September 16th
Free Admission - Maiwa East  1310 Odlum Drive - 7:30pm Opening

SPECIAL EVENT WITH DEMONSTRATIONS, WINE, AND APPETIZERS

-- ALL ITEMS IN THE EXHIBIT (AND MORE) WILL BE FOR SALE --

Join us for an exhibition of ajrakh masterworks. Jabbar Khatri and his son Adam are members of the famous Khatri block-printing family, a family that can trace its artisan heritage back over nine generations. See the finest examples of printing and technique worked in natural dyes on cotton—double-sided ajrakh with expansive circular designs. The pieces are truly unique and cannot be seen anywhere else. 


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Wholesale Prices on Natural Dyes


 Natural. Honest. Colour.


It's time to stock up for the artisan and craft fair season!


Sizes from 30g up to 2.5kg. Our large sizes are priced at wholesale rates so that all artisans can participate in the magic that natural dyes bring.





Take advantage of free shipping on orders of $200 or more
within Canada and the Continental U.S.A.

U.S. Customers - don't forget the exchange rate works in your favour, it's like an extra discount.



Maiwa's Natural Dyes


Colour is unlike anything else. As an artist, to make colour with natural dyes is to experience a direct connection with your materials. And each of these materials, each dyestuff used, can be a doorway to a new world.
Putting natural colour on cloth involves the use of leaves (such as indigo and henna), barks and woods (logwood, osage), roots (madder), flowers (chamomile, marigold), fruits and nuts (walnut, myrobalan, pomegranate), minerals (alum, iron), and insects (cochineal, lac). These are just some of the classic materials that have been used for thousands of years.
The aromatic steam that rises into the air from the dyepot, especially when working outside on a cool morning, is one of the most compelling aspects of the dyer’s studio. Indeed, working with natural colour is such a sensual experience that many artisans work with natural dyestuff for the sheer pleasure of making the vat. The saturated colours of the immersed materials are also highly photogenic—as is the entire dyeing process.



Maiwa’s obsession with natural dyes is well known. What is less well known is the work that we do behind the scenes each time a shipment of natural dyestuff arrives in our warehouse.

Our role is a bit like that of a master vintner who evaluates multiple grape harvests to make an exceptional wine. We do a complete set of sample tests to evaluate the shade and strength of our shipment. Dyes from natural sources will change with each season. If there has been only little rain one year, the concentration of dyestuff in the plant will alter. So we often combine and blend stocks from multiple years to ensure that the raw dyestuff will yield consistent results. 

At Maiwa our policy is to acquire the raw dyestuff in its most elemental form (wood chips, roots, petals) so that we can ensure purity. We then process it into the form (usually a powder) that works best for the artisan dyer. We use natural dyes extensively in our own production, so we can ensure that each package contains a product we would be proud to use ourselves.





Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Inspirational Evenings Not To Be Missed


MAIWA SCHOOL OF TEXTILES
- Lecture Series -

Featuring top artisans & crafts people from around the world.


LIMITED SPACES LEFT

DON'T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO SEE:


Woven Symbols, Global Patterns

Sara Goodman & Mary Zicafoose

A Tenuous Balance: Sculptural Textiles

Mo Kelman


Inspired By Our Strange Society

Tilleke Schwarz


The Art of Ajrakh

Jabbar & Adam Khatri


Inspired Displacement: Translating Travel into Textiles

Lisa Klakulak


The Marlinespike: Roped Into Art

Tim Whitten


Kantha Quilts of Bengal

John Gillow


Marvels & Wonders: Geometric Design in Cairo During the Mamluk Sultanate

Eric Broug


The Craft of Travel - SOLD OUT

Charllotte Kwon & Tim McLaughlin



Lectures Start September 6th.

$15.00 each


Tickets purchased online after August 20th will be held at the door.


Tickets available online at schooloftextiles.com
or in the Maiwa store on Granville Island



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Bedding from Two Block Print Traditions



KALAMKARI

Maiwa’s kalamkari bedding is block printed by hand on 100% organic cotton using natural dyes. Floral motifs and geometric embellishments invoke the Persian influence found in traditional kalamkari. The bedding is a sumptuous combination of line and colour.





BAGH

Bagh block printed bedding adds character and depth to any room. The patterning is a beautiful balance of figure and ground that allows motif and colour to sing together. Printed on 100% organic cotton using natural dyes and traditional techniques.


 

What is Kalamkari?

The mordant-dye technique resulted in brilliant, fast colours that could withstand washing. These were exported from the port of Marsulipatnam (on the east coast of India) where, between 1600 and 1800 they formed the basis for one of the largest international trades in textiles ever known. To increase production, carved wooden blocks replaced pens. In the European markets both printed and painted cottons became known as “Chintz." Today the term refers to almost any textile with floral patterning, but at the time "chintz" denoted a cotton cloth, usually with a white ground, printed or painted with natural dyes.

The European market was not the first, however, the port of Marsulipatnam previously exported kalamkaris to the markets of Safavid Persia. The Persian influence has remained in the floral borders, motifs, and geometric design of the patterning.

Today Marsilaputnam is still a centre of kalamkari block print production. The original natural dye knowledge is still applied and the results are just as beautiful as they were centuries ago. First the cloth is bleached by "dunging" — a treatment with buffalo or goat dung after which the cloth is dried in the sun for a few days. The cloth is mordanted with myrobalan, a tannin bearing nut which grows nearby. Black outlines are printed with an iron solution and areas that will be red are printed with an alum mordant. The various colours are achieved through printing resists, mordants, and then immersion dyeing with different dyes. When using wooden blocks to print, gum is mixed with whatever substance is to be delivered onto the cloth.

Maiwa is dedicated to keeping the art of kalamkari alive. We carry kalamkari bedding, pillows, cushion covers, and we use kalamkari in our clothing designs.

 

 

What are Bagh Block Prints?


The graphic impact of a Bagh block print is due to the dramatic use of of red and black; a style which originates with the Bhil and Bhilala cultures residing in Madhya Pradesh, India. The printers of Bagh are Khatris who migrated south from Rajasthan during the Mughal incursions. They remained to take advantage of the high copper content of the Baghini river. Today, a few small studios still follow a traditional block printing process.

Light and medium weight cotton cloth is scoured and prepared with a complex mixture containing tannin. The cloth is printed with mordants, but as the mordants themselves give no colour during application, a bright pink dye is added - traditionally from the dhawda (flame of the forest) flower. This dye permits the artisans to check registration of the patterns and align overprints. Areas which appear pink during this initial stage will appear deep red when the cloth is finished.

Traditional dye methods include the fermentation of iron-water to give a black colour. Horseshoes and other scrap iron is added to a jaggery-water mixture in a process which can last between fifteen and thirty-five days. The distinctive blocks are carved from hardwood and can print thousands of impressions before needing to be recut.

Washing during the various stages of the printing process is still done by the riverside. Lengths of unfinished cloth with the distinctive pink colour are evidence of traditional artisans at work.

Maiwa works with Bagh craftspeople using traditional block printing techniques. The bold patterns are a proud and dramatic statement of the cultural heritage of this area.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Maiwa Lecture Series


MAIWA SCHOOL OF TEXTILES
- Lecture Series -

Featuring top artisans & crafts people from around the world.


DON'T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO SEE:


Woven Symbols, Global Patterns

Sara Goodman & Mary Zicafoose

A Tenuous Balance: Sculptural Textiles

Mo Kelman


Inspired By Our Strange Society

Tilleke Schwarz


The Art of Ajrakh

Jabbar & Adam Khatri


Inspired Displacement: Translating Travel into Textiles

Lisa Klakulak


The Marlinespike: Roped Into Art

Tim Whitten


Kantha Quilts of Bengal

John Gillow


Marvels & Wonders: Geometric Design in Cairo During the Mamluk Sultanate

Eric Broug


The Craft of Travel - SOLD OUT

Charllotte Kwon & Tim McLaughlin



Lectures Start September 6th.

$15.00 each


Tickets purchased online after August 20th will be held at the door.


Tickets available online at schooloftextiles.com
or in the Maiwa store on Granville Island


Thursday, August 17, 2017

The KindCraft: In Conversation with Maiwa.

Not long ago Charllotte and Sophena Kwon sat down for an in-depth interview with The KindCraft. The result was a wide-ranging conversation that touched on many of the key elements of Maiwa's thirty-year journey. 



The KindCraft
A CELEBRATION OF MAKERS

From artists in New York to the villages of Southeast Asia, The Kindcraft takes you on a journey around the globe and into the maker’s studio. These stories celebrate people creating traditional art and contemporary craft.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Brooklyn Tweed Pop-Up Shop is Open


From the moment we found Brooklyn Tweed we were smitten. It was easy for us to relate to their passion for fibres and for keeping the integrity of the yarn.

We've brought 5 Brooklyn Tweed lines into our Granville Island Supply store;
choosing the bestselling colours, as well as their top patterns and books.

Brooklyn Tweed will only be available in our Granville Island Supply store.


VISIT US ON GRANVILLE ISLAND


STARTING AUGUST 15th
WHILE SUPPLIES LAST



Thinking of making a trip to visit our Brooklyn Tweed pop-up shop?
Here is eveything you need to know.

ABOUT WOOLEN AND WORSTED SPUN YARNS

Woolen-spun yarns have been designed for lightness and loft – their woolen mill preparation and lightly spun ply structure are what makes them unique.

When a yarn is woolen-spun, the fibers remain in a lofty jumble that traps air and offers remarkable warmth and lightness. Its plies are gently twisted to preserve the buoyant quality inherent in the fiber. Woolen-spun yarns create featherweight fabrics and provide a significant amount of yardage per skein. Slightly thinner or thicker sections can occur during woolen spinning due to the 100+ year old mill equipment, adding to the hand-crafted quality of these yarns. Since Brooklyn Tweed never uses harsh chemical scouring, you’ll find the occasional fleck of vegetable matter that remains as evidence of the sheep’s life on the Wyoming rangeland.

Worsted-spun yarns are designed for superior strength and stitch definition. Worsted spinning involves combing all the fibers into smooth alignment before spinning to produce a perfectly even roving. Thanks to their construction, worsted spun yarns produce a dense and sturdy fabric.



VALE

Wyoming-sourced breed-specific wool
Spun and dyed in Maine
Worsted-spun 2-ply | 450 yards | 50g hank

Vale is the laceweight member of Brooklyn Tweed’s all-American, breed-specific core line. This yarn begins on the Wyoming plains with 100% Rambouillet fleece, grown by sheep that trace their lineage to medieval France, where this offshoot of the merino was prized as the king of breeds. Rambouillet is even loftier and bouncier than merino, and is spun worsted for a soft, springy, durable two-ply yarn that yields ethereal accessories. Scoured and combed into buttery smooth, consistent top in South Carolina, the wool travels north to Maine for spinning at an historic mill and dyeing at an eco-friendly facility nearby. Vale’s custom palette of 14 shades shares some touchstone colours with our Arbor line and fills in with sophisticated softer tones. Vale is a polished yarn with an even weight and twist, suitable for heirloom-quality lace projects. 




ARBOR
Wyoming-sourced breed-specific wool
Spun and dyed in Maine

Woolen-spun 2-ply | 145 yards | 50g hank

Arbor represents an exciting expansion for Brooklyn Tweed: working with new American partners, they've developed a DK-weight workhorse yarn, spun worsted for superior strength and stitch definition and dyed in a nuanced palette of 30 solid colors.


Purebred Targhee sheep from Montana and South Dakota lend their distinctive fleece, a finewool with the softness of merino enhanced by longwool genetics for added durability. Jagger Brothers, an historic mill in southern Maine, spins the fiber into a round and springy 3-ply that loves to cable and shows textural stitchwork to maximum advantage. Saco River Dyehouse, an organically certified dyeworks operating nearby, provides a custom skein-dyed palette with minimal impact on the planet.

Thanks to its worsted construction, Arbor produces a denser, sturdier fabric than the woolen-spun yarns. The fibers have been combed straight and carefully aligned before spinning, rather than jumbled to trap air. Garments knit from Arbor will weigh more and drape more heavily than those knit from Loft or Shelter.




SHELTER

Wyoming-sourced breed-specific wool
Spun in New Hampshire
Woolen-spun 2-ply | 140 yards | 50g hank



The distinctive character of Targhee-Columbia wool shines in Shelter, a versatile medium-weight yarn. Shelter is woolen spun, meaning the fibers remain in a lofty jumble that traps air and offers remarkable warmth and lightness. Its two plies are gently twisted to preserve that buoyant quality, so Shelter is a little more delicate than most commercial yarns. Woolen-spun yarns are also more adaptable in gauge, as they can compress to a dense sport weight or bloom to cohere as a gauzy fabric when worked on large needles. Shelter has a dry, soft hand and a faintly rustic nature; woolen spinning sometimes results in slightly thinner or thicker sections, and you’ll find the occasional fleck of vegetable matter that proves our wool is never treated with harsh chemicals. Garments knit from Shelter achieve their full beauty after a wet blocking, as each stitch relaxes and bonds with its neighbors to produce an even, light, plush fabric with a halo. You shouldn’t notice any change in gauge. Shelter is designed to be a workhorse yarn that invites cables, ribbing, textured stitch motifs, open work, plain stockinette and garter stitch. It’s ideal for sweaters of every variety, winter accessories, and blankets.




LOFT
Wyoming-sourced breed-specific wool
Spun in New Hampshire
Woolen-spun 2-ply | 275 yards | 50g hank

Fingering-weight Loft channels Targhee-Columbia wool’s airy bounce into feather-light lace, accessories, and garments. Like Shelter, Loft is a woolen-spun 2-ply yarn with delicate twist, specially designed for unique lightness of hand. It’s not a sock yarn, so treat it a little more gently when it’s on the winder and the needles. Once your garment is blocked, the stitches will cohere in a beautifully even and sturdy fabric. Lace garments should open up to reveal stitch motifs with relatively mild blocking. Loft has great flexibility of gauge; it can be knit on 2mm (US 0) needles for a dense and durable fabric or on 4mm (US 6) needles for ethereal open work. Two strands of Loft held together can substitute for Shelter in patterns where you’d like greater stitch definition or a marled fabric of two colours.




QUARRY
Wyoming-sourced breed-specific wool
Spun in New Hampshire
Woolen-spun 3-ply | 200 yards | 100g hank


Quarry is a chunky brother to Shelter and Loft inspired by roving-style “unspun” yarns, offered in pillowy 100-gram skeins. This yarn begins with three strands of the same lofty, woolen-spun Targhee-Columbia fleece, but rather than twisting the individual plies, they are nestled together and gently spun as a trio. The result is a plump yarn that looks like a single ply and has greater tensile strength and stitch definition than a true unspun yarn. Quarry has a soft and rustic hand. The yarn’s one-directional twist may cause it to twirl between the needles and the ball while you’re knitting, but the fabric will be well balanced with no biasing. Quarry knits will bloom to become cohesive and supple after a wet blocking. You shouldn’t notice any change in gauge. This yarn loves to cable and beautifully renders all kinds of textural stitch work. Despite its soft structure, it can be worked at looser gauges without loss of integrity to the fabric. It’s ideal for sweaters, coats, blankets, and cozy accessories.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Maiwa East Summer Sale 50% - 80% Off



WE'RE MAKING ROOM
- to grow the Maiwa School of Textiles -

Maiwa is selling some very special items at lovingly reduced prices in order to make space for the Maiwa School of Textiles.


SHIRTS  —  TOPS  —  DRESSES  —  BAGS  —  SANDALS
SCARVES  —  WRAPS  —  FURNITURE  —  INTERIOR ACCESSORIES


THIS WEEK FOR THREE DAYS 50% - 80% OFF

AT MAIWA EAST ONLY

Thursday August 10th  —  10am - 6pm
Friday August 11th  —  10am - 9pm
Saturday August 12th  —  10am - 5pm


1310 Odlum Drive, Vancouver BC   604.251.3980


Cannot be combined with other offers