EXERCISE – Reusing and recycling – Samples – sari waste – Evaluation


The brief was to take waste materials and think how I could transform it and add value. I decided to use the sari ribbon waste ( and similar sari waste products) that I had had in my stash box for some years really as I have never known how to use before now and that in itself felt a waste to have it sitting not being used. I had more than one kind as I had been lured by its colour and texture on more than one occasion.  At the time of purchase the sari waste was sold as being “sustainable” as it was making good use of the left overs ( post industrial waste) so it felt appropriate to use it and it also felt right not to buy anything new for this project. I had linen sari waste (which was just the selvedge) and sari ribbon yarn (silk sari torn and sewn into lengths for knitting) and sari yarn (sari ribbon yarn which has been twisted and over sewn to secure into yarn to be used for knitting etc) plus some more decorative sari trim edges, cut sari squares and shredded silk sari fibre (intended for paper making)

The first two samples I used the linen sari waste and was delighted when I opened it to find writing on some lengths as this gave the fabric some authenticity to it being left over from production as it was clearly fabric that could not have been sold as normal fabric. I knew I had to make use of that detail. There wasn’t much so I could only manage 2 samples but I like the way I used it and believe I did add value as both samples make full use of the shredded edges and text to take on another life as a small textile piece.

Sample 3 – I moved onto the sari yarn but as I don’t knit I wanted to use it in another way. I had a vision of how a woven piece would look like but I was very disappointed with my results. The green one I am a little happier with but I realised to get the effect I wanted I would need to weave on a wider loom which I did not have. I think I would like to revisit this one day but didn’t continue with the sampling at that stage.

Sample 4 – I used some sari waste fabric (cut into patchwork squares) and some sari trim edges. The pink one was a lucky find as it had some writing on and gave the sample a graphic element. I like it but it wasn’t very adventurous so I decided to look at my materials again.

Sample 5 – I used the silk sari ribbon yarn which I needed to iron out as it was twisted and I stitched it into place on a long banner with gold thread. I was happy with this as a background but it needed more so I added some sari yarn/cord and thinner ribbon yarn strips. I had some shredded sari fibre which I tried to secure between two folds to look like a fringe. It adds a little texture but wasn’t really hitting the mark. I added 3 felted circles for a softer line to all the horizontal and vertical lines. This was a turning point as I knew then I wanted to add circles as a reference to the sashimi mirrors that appear on Indian embroidery and as this was sari ribbon it was an appropriate link.

Sample 6 – This sample was worked and re-worked as it wasn’t turning out in a way that I liked. I sewn a section of ribbon and then cut it up and sewed it again and then repeated this on 3 more occasions eventually finishing with this sample. I like the felted section as it is softer in appearance and the scale of the wrapped circle I like also. It gave me enough to move onto the last sample.

Sample 7 – Taking elements from all the samples I arrived at this one. I am reasonably happy with it as I like the contrast between the soft felted stripes and then the more vibrant stitched ones. I also like how I have used the sashima rings, something relevant but not used in the expected way with the mirrors but used as rings on the side. If I am to be honest I would say it’s not quite fully resolved as I would have liked to have combined more rings, probably larger ones from the previous sample and also some open spaces like in the paper sample in the sketchbook but I knew I needed to stop and remind myself I was making samples and not a finished artefact. It had the potential to grow and grow into a very large sample by incorporating all the parts that appealed to me so I made a decision to stop. I had, after all, added value to the waste materials and extended their life as I had intended.  I have been thinking it over more since then and wish I had taken as different route earlier on and perhaps thought about it in a more 3D way, like textile jewellery but rather than regret what I have and haven’t done I came to the conclusion that we ever stop working on any idea !!

This entry was posted in 2 Exercise - Reusing and recycling, LEVEL 2 - TEXTILES 2 : Contemporary Practice, Project 2 - Reuse and recycling, TEXTILES 2 - PART 2 - Sustainable textiles and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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