Thursday, April 17, 2014


Repp weave rug by Lis Baston
4/8 cotton and cotton rug filler
Over the centuries the colour red has been obtained by using lead, bugs, and plants. It is one of the first colours to be produced by humans and at first was used to paint their bodies and then on cave walls and rocks. The fact that it is also the colour of the life giving fluid , blood, makes it even more of a  powerful colour charged with symbolism and significance.

Knitters loom hand towel in 4/8 cotton by Carole Hibbert
When the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés and his soldiers conquered the Aztec Empire in 1521, besides discovering silver and gold, they uncovered that the Aztecs obtained a spectacular red from drying and crushing a tiny cochineal, a parasitic scale insect which lived on cactus plants. They exported these to Europe where they provided them to  textile dyers. 
Wendy Hayden giving us a talk about her one week workshop on Colour and Design for weaving at Jane Stafford in British Columbia. 
At first dyers guilds' in Venice and other cities banned cochineal to protect their local products, but the superior quality of cochineal dye made it impossible to resist. By the beginning of the 17th century it was the preferred luxury red for the clothing of cardinals, bankers, courtisans and aristocrats.

One of the samples that Wendy Hayden wove at Jane Stafford. The stripes designed by using the Fibonacci series. 
Another of the samples that Wendy Hayden wove at Jane Stafford. The stripes designed by using the Fibonacci series. See how the red accent livens the composition. Jane calls this the 'zinger'. 

Another sample that Wendy Hayden wove at Jane Stafford. 
There are many names given to red paints and pigments: vermilion, madder, scarlet, cerise, persimmon, sanguine, cinnabar, rouge, crimson, carmine, geranium, ruby and rose.Every textile can benefit by warming with red giving life to a muted colour palette. 

Houses tapestry by Christine Shipley. Measures approximately 4" x 10"

Red is charged with emotion and possibility.  Red conveys heroism and bravery, honesty and patriotism, strength, power, authority. It demands that you pay attention to it. It can represent many emotions: love, hate, anger, passion, lust. Love may be like a red red rose, as one's  sins. Even  politics may be red. One "sees red" when angry. There is red tape, red ink, red wine, red lips, red blood, red earth, red barons, red barns, red hearts, red thoughts and red herrings. Even women have been described as scarlet and we all know what a red light district is. 
Baby wrap woven by Heather Brady , commissioned by Emma Cummingham, who is a newcomer (and student) to weaving. Sett - 24 epi, Heather used  8/2 cotton warp, cottolin weft (black).  The final dimensions are 29" wide and 5.1 yards long after washing, drying and hemming (it was 19 ft fresh off the loom).  Wow! impressive length!

Red is the color most commonly associated with joy and well being,  celebration and ceremony. A red carpet is often used to welcome distinguished guests. Red is also the traditional color of seats in opera houses and theaters. Scarlet academic gowns are worn by new Doctors of Philosophy at degree ceremonies at Oxford University and other schools. In China, it is considered the color of good fortune and prosperity, and is traditionally worn by brides. In Christian countries, it is the color traditionally worn at Christmas by Santa Claus, because in the 4th century the historic Saint Nicholas was the Greek Christian Bishop of Myra, in modern-day Turkey, and bishops then dressed in red.

Emma Cummingham modelling the baby wrap that Heather Brady wove for her.

50 Ways to wear a scarf 
on YouTube sent to Marion Kirkwood by her daughter:

Here we welcome new weaving students in our Monday evening class: from left to right, Lisa Linkovich, Ryan Hayes, and Araceli Baleog. 

Fondazione arte della Seta Lisio June 8 - 12 2015
There are only 3 spots available to attend this one week workshop on historical jacquard textiles, which will include museum and art gallery visits and talks relating to jacquard textiles in renaissance paintings. To find out more contact Line Dufour at 

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