I haven’t showed off a project recently, partly because I have been working on this one for almost two months. Yes, I am slow.
All the materials came from my local Goodwill bins – cashmere hoodie, embroidery thread, background fabric, and even the embroidery hoop. Everything except the needle. The hoodie was missing the label, but there is no doubt that it is cashmere, and good quality at that. So, why was it in the bins? There were four holes.
Holes in cashmere don’t bother me, especially if it is a product this hefty. Repairing it is quite easy, and I’ve repaired enough cashmere to be able to do a neat and almost undetectable mend. That is what I’d planned, but the holes were pretty large, so I started thinking about alternatives.
I came up with embroidered patches, and because I was anxious about recent world events, I pictured a scream. Actually, I pictured The Scream, by Edvard Munch. I can tell you that embroidering this detail from the work was therapeutic.
I began by finding details of four paintings that I love. I had the great product above, which is a fabric with a paper backing to run through a printer. I isolated the sections I wanted to embroider and printed them onto the fabric.
I used a combination of wool thread and cotton embroidery floss, depending on the type of texture I wanted. I pretty much stuck to a plain straight stitch throughout. Sometimes I mixed two different color strands on the needle.
Van Gogh’s Wheatfields with Crows
Monet’s Water Lilies
And this one is a bit harder to recognize because I pulled the detail from the background. Any art lovers want to attempt a guess?
My poor camera just does not capture the richness of the color and texture of this sweater. It’s soft and warm and reminds me of beautiful things.
Over the past few years I’ve really cut retail shopping, and this year I hope to buy nothing new to wear. I have so much fabric, and the Goodwill is such a great source of raw material, that I’m hoping I can make anything I need to fill in gaps in my wardrobe.
Every week it seems there is another article warning of the unsustainability of the shopping habits of people in developed countries. Besides the human cost, the clothing and textiles industries are two of the most polluting on earth. I think is is time (past it actually) that we all reevaluate the way we shop for clothing and other textile products. When it gets to the point that people don’t have access to clean water because of the dyes and other pollutants used in the manufacturing process, it’s time to take action.
Stepping off the soapbox now…