If you have been following the Filling Spaces journey for a little while you know that most of our textiles are produced by one of the oldest methods of printing called block printing. We are passionate about combining ancient techniques with modern design. While block printing will always be our first love, we are so excited to add handwoven textiles to our line up. Get a sneak peek into the process below.
Step 1. Choosing a Color Palette
The first step of creating a handwoven textile (our favorite) is selecting color palettes for our designs. All the colors in our handloom products are naturally dyed. Natural dyeing is the most ancient method of producing color on fiber, in fact, it was the only method of coloring cloth until 1856, when chemical dyes were invented. Natural dyes come from, you guessed it, natural sources, like heartwoods of trees, plant roots, leaves and flowers. The most famous of all the natural dyes is Indigo, which we have a serious soft spot for, but who doesn't?
Step 2. Dyeing the Yarn
Once the colors have been decided on, the dyeing begins. Natural dyeing is a slow process, it takes at least 2-3 days to get all the yarn dyed and ready for the next step.
This is one of our dyers working on dipping white wool yarn into an indigo vat and then hanging it up to air. Did you know that indigo only turns blue when it interacts with oxygen? When the yarn is first pulled out of the vat it's a green color and then as soon as it hits the air the color starts to change to that infamous blue. The darker the shade, the more times the yarn must be dipped. Very deep shades of indigo are sometimes dipped up to 20 times.
Step 3. Preparing the Warp & Threading the Loom
Before the weaving process begins the warp must be made. The warp is the vertical yarn on a weaving and the weft is the horizontal yarn. The warp is what gets threaded onto the loom to make it possible for the weaver to pass the weft yarn through to create cloth. After the warp is made, it is put onto a wooden foot pedal loom. This process is called threading the loom.
Step 4. Winding the Bobbin
After the loom is threaded the weaver is almost ready to begin weaving. But first he must prepare bobbins of yarn that will go in a shuttle and be passed through the warp.
Step 5: Weaving the Fabric
Finally, the weaving can begin!
Step 6: Pillow Covers are Sewn & Throws are Finished
Now the hand loomed cloth can be made into pillows and throws. Our woven pillows are lined from the inside. Extra care is taken when stitching to line the woven wool with cotton fabric.