Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weaving White Cloth In Mud Season

It's kind of funny, deciding to weave white cloth in the muddiest season we have on the land. It means I have to jump through ridiculous hoops to keep it clean.

When I'm weaving, I get used to always having a clean rag on hand. Any time I touch the greasy mechanics of the loom I thoroughly wipe my hands before going back to the cloth. Little smudges here and there are no big deal since all of the cloth will be washed with organic soap before it gets cut. Besides, I designed the cloth with a lot of brown and grey stripes so it will hide dirt and need laundering less often.

My real chance to get it dirty in a way that would show is on the way into the dryer, in the cutting, the sewing and the location photography.

In the laundry shed, I'm manipulating 12 yards of twisted up, wet, heavy, 60" wide cloth so it's impossible to keep it off the floor. I cover the muddy concrete floor a white blanket to keep the cloth clean on the way into the dryer.

When I carry the clean, dry cloth back to the cabin, I'm concerned about two things: mud and wrinkles. I carefully accordion fold the 10 yard bolt in the laundry shed and wrap it in a blanket to transport it across the 1/4 mile of mud.

On the sewing table, there are many cuts that need the cloth to drape onto the floor. Again, I use a blanket to keep dirt off the cloth. No matter how many times I sweep, the floor is not clean enough to let white cloth touch it.

Once it's cut into single garment chunks, it's easy to keep it on the clean sewing table. The only other chance to get dirty comes if I take it outside. The only reason I would do that is for location photos.

When I do, the garments get wrapped in a blanket, put inside a zippered tote bag, and carried carefully to the location. Then, since I'm usually shooting more than one garment, I carry a clean blanket that I can use to hold garments waiting to be shot.

Yeah, it's kind of crazy what I go through with this cloth, but it's well worth it.

No comments: