23 January 2015

Use Your Treasures!

I was inspired by a recent blog post by Melanie Testa, where she writes that she's been printing cloth for years, and now wants to use up her stash completely instead of stashing and storing fabric. I can relate to that. I have loads of my own fabrics in my stash too. Some of the cloth is ugly, some is precious to me. But the point is: there is no point in storing it. It deserves to be used! "Using the things you have and make causes you to make more, doesn’t it?" Melanie says. And she's right! Whatever fabric I've dyed or printed - I can make more of! And if there is one that is exquisitely special and unrepeatable, well, why not use it for something I use every day so that I can enjoy it all the time? Why should I keep it folded up in a box? And when I make more fabric, there will be more exquisitely special and unrepeatable fabrics to use.

So, as a warm-up, I decided to make a coaster set from some of my hand-dyed fabrics that have a Japanese feel to me. I combined them with linen as a backing fabric, as I love the combination of printed cotton and plain linen.

The techniques that have been used to pattern the fabrics are: low water immersion dyeing, shibori, direct dye painting and printing, soy wax resist and discharge. I was quite surprised by how many techniques I'd managed to tick off!

Thanks for visiting my blog! Go forth, my friend, and use your fabrics. And then: make (or buy) more lovely fabric!


  1. So beautiful, Annika! I am faced with the downsizing of my large stash at the moment, since we are getting ready to move from a house to an apartment. I am coming to the realization that the commercial prints will have to mostly go, and what I will keep are all the hand-dyed and printed, eco-dyed, etc. from myself and artistic friends. There aren't enough years left in my life to use it all anyway, so I might as well use the one-of-a-kind stuff!

    1. Thanks! I'm not envying the task you have ahead of you: getting rid of stuff is so difficult. When I last moved I ended up throwing away stuff in a panic mood, which in some cases led to regret later. So my advice is: start early, because it takes longer than you think! There are so many emotions involved that also need to be dealt with.Good luck!