Growing Textiles

by Janet Hughes in Cupar, Fife, United Kingdom

We did it
On 21st April 2023 we successfully raised £4,245 with 33 supporters in 32 days

To fund a Grow, Dye, Pattern, Weave, Make space. To teach and work with and in nature.

by Janet Hughes in Cupar, Fife, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

My second goal and probably the most important is a further £8,000 or £10k in total to fund 3 x teaching looms. Small and foldable easily transportable 8 shaft floor looms made in the USA by Schacht. There are no comparable looms made in the UK and the Vat and Custom duty mount to a whopping 40% on top so these are not a cheap but essential piece of kit. They are the perfect size and scale for most folks from children to adults to comfortably weave while reaching the foot peddles.

why 3? well its the smallest number to make a group teaching setting, its a better learning experience for the student. I can grow this number hopefully when I'm up and running classes. 

why 8 shafts? while I could go for the cheaper option of 4 shafts but I believe there is a gap in teaching for folks to learn the more complex aspects of intersecting warp and weft threads. That beautiful patterned fabrics are achievable quite easily, with a little tuition, for garment, accessory or household uses. I learned on 8 shafts first then progressed all the way to 24 these days hand looms are up to 40 shafts!

Why not cheaper table looms? I learned to weave at the Scottish College of Textiles on George Wood floor looms I never learned on table looms and besides its a whole body experience and once the loom is effectively "programmed"you don't really need to consider how the weave will work, how ends will lift and its easier then to concentrate on throwing the shuttle and making a length of cloth.

If you are still reading thank you for staying with me. 

My next goal is £13k this will allow me to commission my own weaving yarn traceable from field to fabric. I am passionate about Scottish wool we have such a great resource that we are just not making the most of especially the naturally coloured wools – we cant help that coloured lambs are born, within the commercial wool production but these coloured fleece would “contaminate” the white wool production and as all industrial wool goes through a bleaching then dying to a flat regular colour demanded by the industry, fashion and retail and to be honest us as consumers. Finding a spinner that will make a relatively small batch of yarn from specific fleece isn’t easy these days. The supply trade is almost gone now in the uk as is the industry as a whole. I remember a time when every mill town had a spinner! – I guess that’s my motivation to teach new folks – I need a minimum of 40kg of both the beautiful coloured fleece and white so I can use the yarn to botanical dye for both my teaching and my own practice. 

My next goal is £15k this will allow me to pilot community classes in education settings, healthcare and in horticulture. These mindful classes will focus on growing dye flowers, colouring natural fibres and weaving, giving every participant access to their own drop spindles and tapestry looms, for the duration of the class blocks and are reusable, as well as access to the larger floor looms and buying 3 x electric spinning 'wheels' these are digitally printed and so easy to use. I believe using new technologies will bring the ancient craft alive for a new generation and with the ease of use great results are possible for beginners giving them confidence to continue making, for me giving the best experience to them he student is paramount It's all about hands on making, concentrating on this one thing and letting every other thoughts disappear even for a short while, focussing not only on wellbeing but its about raising awareness that there is a thing called regenerative textiles, supporting Fibreshed Scotland. Once lesson plans and evaluations are complete this work has the potential to be rolled out over the region. This sum also includes dye equipment, table chairs etc for the garden workshop space.

My next goal is £20K. with this I can upgrade to a truly ecological greenhouse complete with water catchment and irrigation, ventilation and most excitingly a wind turbine and batteries so that my practice is self-sustaining power wise. oh I can't wait its just what I need. I am always conscious of the chemicals and water I use to dye and wash my raw materials and finished products, the textile industry has such a bad reputation on polutants here I can be certain that the products I put out into the world are not harming the world I live in in fact they are truly a soil to soil approach.

thank you for reading jan x


1679262047_this_project_is_part_of_creative_scotland_crowdmatch.png

1678982484_3a841e8e-0f30-4063-80aa-a606838d34bd.jpeg

Who are we?

Hello I’m Jan a textile designer/maker from Cupar Fife. 

I studied textile design at the Scottish College of Textiles then I was an assistant designer in a weaving mill, taught art and design in further education and for many years was an artist in residence for the mental health team at Fife NHS. I now have a garden weave shed where I weave small batch and bespoke contemporary cloth in natural fibres

Why are we crowdfunding?

I have come to realise that I have many skills that are not taught much these days and I feel it my duty to pass these on

I am passionate about natural dying and using natural fibres to produce my woven textiles, and that other folks should reconnect with the textiles they use everyday.

 Textiles can be grown and made locally in a truly regenerative system and I not only support but am one of 4 core members setting up the Scottish affiliate to the world wide Fibreshed its a non-profit organisation that develops regional fibre systems that build ecosystem and community health. Fibreshed’s work expands opportunities to implement climate benefitting agriculture, rebuild regional manufacturing, and connect end-users to the source of our fibre through education, transforming the economic systems behind the production of material culture to mitigate climate change, improve health, and contribute to racial and economic equality

if you have got this far thank you for reading

I need a growing and teaching space and equipment this is my motivation to be part of this amazing creative Scotland funding match opportunity

How we’ll spend the money raised

my first goal is to raise £2,000 for a large polycarbonate greenhouse grow and make space as my current weave shed just isn't big enough. 

Wont it be fabulous to share a workshop pace with the plants you are using, to bend over and pick a few indigo leaves or dig up a madder root pop them in a pot with some wool yarn you've washed and spun yourself to then weave it into a length of cloth that you can make a garment to clothe yourself in. That’s my dream! To connect folks to the textiles they use everyday, to give a truly regenerative alternative to the essentially plastic fast fashion that is imported from the other side of the world all fuelled by petrochemicals, when research suggests that the best textiles to wear next to your biggest organ - the skin - are those grown in the same climate that you are living in!  not drenched in synthetic dyes and additives, not to mention the boundless climate benefits of a truly soil to soil approach, benefits to the ecosystem they are grown in and the fact that they are fully compostable with no harmful chemicals at the end of th1678982766_43bbd5b4-e67d-415e-8519-78fd7a464d25.jpegeir lives.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£95 or more

2 of 4 claimed

Premium Handloom Woven Scarf

Own one of a very limited number of my signature handloom woven scarves in a contemporary geometric weave structure called deflective double cloth, a bold pattern with a lightness in weight. I will of course message you with images of the scarf to make sure you are happy before I post out to you fully tracked.

£5 or more

4 of 20 claimed

Dye Seeds

Become a dye grower 2 x packets of my own seeds from last summers dye plants grown here in Fife. 1x Woad seeds 1x Madder seeds aprox 20 seeds each. these native plants will grow in our climate. these will be sent out as soon as you buy a reward so you can get going asap with a link to a Facebook group for all who also have this reward and other dye growers to share their dye experiences.

£6 or more

0 of 50 claimed

Zero waste linen thistle wish bracelet

This simple aprox 30cm tie on bracelet in red linen with a thistle charm in the middle is part of my zero waste initiative and is very popular for folks to have for themselves and to send to friends in the post it comes on a A6 card with a message that thistles embody strength and to make a wish. I've added in uk postage costs, please if you from abroad the postage is more so could you think about buying more than one to cover this.

£10 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Random zero waste Badge / Brooch

At aprox 5cm in diameter these almost abstract broaches look great on anyone Secured with a 3.5cm pin clip you can choose either a handloom woven wool or a patched and embroidered naturally dyed linen. I will message you if you have colour preferences sent on a small card

£12 or more

1 of 20 claimed

Botanically dyed Linen earrings

This reward is for pair of button earrings as part of my zero waste initiative. The linen covered aluminium buttons are approx 12mm and are fitted onto stainless steel earrings so hypoallergenic for most folks I have studs and dangle earrings available and will message you once you pledge for this reward so that I make sure you are happy and receive what you wish.

£12 or more

1 of 20 claimed

Pictish inspired wool earrings

These are statement earrings utilising "leftovers"of my own fabric The weave structure is a based the ancient stone carvings of the Pictish peoples found here on the east coast of Scotland. This Key Pattern with no beginning and no end represents forever love. Size is aprox 3.75cm flat back aluminium stretched with lambswool cloth with stainless steel hypoallergenic earring post to the back. I will email you with colour combo options

£16 or more

2 of 20 claimed

Naturally dyed linen celtic knot embroidery kit

These are meant to be mindful moments just stitch the lines and be truly present in the moment. You will get a box containing aprox a4 size pre-printed linen fabric in a Celtic knot pattern, reusable bamboo hoop, linen 'thrums' - zero waste white linen yarn, a needle, snips, felt backing and instructions how to easily sew a wallhanging mindfully. you can choose 4 colours of naturally dyed by me linen

£16 or more

1 of 20 claimed

Naturally Dyed Linen Seed of Life embroidery kit

These are meant to be mindful moments just stitch the lines and be truly present in the moment. You will get a box containing aprox a4 size pre-printed linen fabric in a Seed of Life pattern, reusable bamboo hoop, linen 'thrums' - zero waste white linen yarn, a needle, snips, felt backing and instructions how to easily sew a wallhanging mindfully. you can choose 4 colours of naturally dyed by me linen

£18 or more

0 of 20 claimed

zero waste neckless

This lovely pendant using a wee leftover from my handloom woven fabric. The weave structure is a based the ancient stone carvings of the Pictish peoples found here on the east coast of Scotland. This Key Pattern with no beginning and no end represents forever love. 5cm circle aluminium flat back finding covered in my weaving on a 45cm stainless steel chocker chain with a lobster clasp. I will email you with colour combo options

£22 or more

6 of 10 claimed

Pictish Mittens

Rare chance to purchase a pair of my handloom woven Pictish inspired fingerless mittens colour combos are browns, greys, blues and pinks however I will message you with options these mittens are for medium size hands if that's a thing (^_~)

£26 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Handloom Woven Wool + Metal Frame Purse

A rare chance to own my popular Pictish inspired weave structure made into a coin purse. The design is based on the Key Pattern found here on the east coast of Fife on the ancient stone carvings made by the Pictish folks. the purse measures aprox 10cm x 12cm x 5cm with a 11cm metal frame lined with hand dyed linen, labeled and tagged. variety of colour combos available, I will message you with options before sending to you so you can choose.

£35 or more

6 of 12 claimed

Celebrate Spring Gelli Printing Workshop

Come and have fun using gathered botanicals especially the Cow Parsley that is abundant at this time to make a whole pile of unique Gelli prints. Perfect for all, folks who want to explore a new medium or add to there own practice, perfect for sketchbooks or collage work. A small 2hr group of 3 like minded in my existing compact garden weave shed. Gelli printing gives beautifully detailed results Papers, inks and Vegan Gelli plate included.

£50 or more

0 of 6 claimed

Woven Wallhanging Workshop

Come to my existing weave shed and join a small 4 hour group of 3 like minded folks and explore a variety of both tapestry and loom woven textural structures to make a sampler wall hanging on simple fame looms using natural fibre yarns. All materials included and you'll hopefully see the progress of my crowdfunding.

£400 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Group Gelli Print Workshop

I will come to you and hold a group of up to ten folks for up to 4 hrs the location needs to be local to Fife or we could arrange additional travel expenses if further away. This could be a drop in session for corporate employees instead of the 4 hours for 10 people. I could use botanicals in your locality or other found objects or a variety of other methods of making a stack of unique Gelli prints. Time to suit you over the next few months.

£550 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Group Wallhanging Workshop

I will come to you and hold a group of up to ten for up to 6 hrs. The location needs to be local to Fife or we could arrange additional travel expenses if further away. Explore a variety of woven structures and make a individual wallhanging on a frame loom in a day. Full instructions will be given as well as design advice. I'm happy to work with the host to plan the workshop to consider say a theme. Time to suit you over the next few months

Got an idea like this?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.