I’ve done it, I have a gigantic oversized West Aussie hug to see me through the winters!
This coat is West Australian sourced, spun and made. It has travelled from Roselea the alpaca to local spinning mill, and into to my hands. The enormity of the task of turning this beautiful fibre into a woven garment was eased by the assistance of my certificate weaving teacher, Ilka White.
Whilst exploring the weaving options available to me during the course, I decided to focus on the shapes of eucalypt blossoms given that the natural colour of Roselea and her indigo overdye reminded me so much of the beautiful hues in the bark. Weaving operates on a grid so I first tamed the shapes into a more rectangular formation.
This structure is called a double deflected weave and the scale of the pattern I could achieve made it particularly attractive. The cloth was woven on a large floor loom, and I used the entire width, milking it for all it was worth! Once off the loom, the open weave and drape of the fabric gave me pause. I had to re-imagine my original concept of a more structured coat to suit the fabric.
The coat was hand sewn with the very same alpaca yarn and I have largely left the edges as they came off the loom, as I felt it was a more genuine approach to the piece. The collar was supported by a piece of merino felt left over from last years project.
So there you have it, the first part of my #1year1outfit project for this year. Entirely West Australian with the small concession of using an imported biodynamic indigo powder as a starter seed to make the organic indigo vat, with local honey and lime.
To those of you also making local garments, I hope this gives you a little extra pep to keep at it. I hope that I have something to wear under the jacket by the end of the year, if not, I am sure I can wrap this around enough…..
Alpaca: Windella Alpaca
Spinning: Fiber of the Gods
Dyeing: Biodynamic organic indigo vat with local honey and lime
Weaving: Double Deflected Weave, Self woven with the assistance of Ilka White
Sewing: Hand sewn with alpaca and felt, self drafted.
Process Posts: #1year1outfit
Photography: Baker Photography