Flight, Space and Light
“I put it on and I feel transformed!” Sarah cooed when she wrapped up in one of the silk creations I call GloryUs Wrapture. I love creating wearable art work that captures the ethereal sense of weightlessness and wraps the wearer in a sense of glorious joy. I use a combination of my hand dyed silk fabrics and an off loom weaving technique to create the desired effect. Loosely weaving torn strips of fabric then stitching the pieces to secure it, allows for light and space to become a part of the finished wrap. Leaving ends trailing on either side gives the wrap a feathery look and allows the wearer to experience an effervescent feeling of flight.
Creating textiles that are light and airy is made possible with the help of an amazing plastic that dissolves in water. I use the water soluble plastic as a base to stabilize assemblages of fabric in order to stitch them together. I first encountered the magic of light weight water soluble plastic in a workshop given by Leslie Garber. She created fabulous wearable art garments using the plastic as a stabilizer. Although you can find several different types, I use the laundry bags designed to melt away in the wash at hospitals.
I love to play with my hand dyed silks and I’ve created a style of wrap that has a distinct feeling and look. My GloryUs Wrapture scarves and shawls are designed to give the wearer a positive sense of power and joy. Often times, words are woven into the wraps because I believe that the written word is a powerful force and contributes to the energy of manifesting our dreams. I print out words like: Creative, Dynamic, Bold and Glorious- onto a sheet of backed silk using my ink jet printer, dye the sheets to match my wraps and tuck them into the weaving.
I work with light weight silks that I order from Dharma Trading Company, combining silk habatoi with gauze, chiffon, organza and devore patterns. Hand dying the silk gives me a chance to play with my favorite earthy colors and to create combinations that reflect my love of nature. Coming from a weaving background I like to lay out the strips in a grid, but I often weave the strips randomly so that the finished look is more organic. I intentionally weave the strips apart from each other so that light and space become an intricate part of the wrap.
To create my unique wraps, I begin by hand dying all of my silk. I mordant the silk first by soaking it in a soda ash bath for about 20 minutes and then hang it to dry. Folding the fabric in different ways and then twisting it, I can create simple color effects. I mix my colors from fiber reactive dyes from Dharma Trading Company and either pour it over the fabric or dab it on with a sponge. After the dyed fabric has batched for 2 or more hours in a sealed plastic bag, I rinse it and wash it in the washing machine.
Since I love the ragged look of torn silk, I simply tear the fabric end to end in strips of varying widths. There is an elegance to the raggedness that adds to the overall feeling of the wraps. Alternately, you can use a rotary blade on a cutting board to cut the fabric on a diagonal to create a bias fabric that doesn’t fray.
I lay out the water soluble base on a table and arrange the long strips of the warp so that they will determine the length and width of the piece. Starting at one end, I weave in weft strips going over and under the warp strips the length of the work and tucking in the silk with the words on it. After laying another layer of water soluble plastic on top, I pin each intersection and along the edges. This holds the work together while I machine sew the pieces in place. When the whole grid has been stitched, and the thread ends cut, I lay the whole thing in the bathtub and turn on the shower using hot water. The plastic magically dissolves after a few minutes. Finally, I hang the wrap to dry and iron it to give it a crisp feel and a lustrous look.
I love wrapping myself in gorgeous silk that makes me feel like I could soar after my dreams- don’t you?
Create your own GloryUs Wrapture scarves and shawls with Brecia’s Creative Silk Textiles DVD available at breciacreative.com