Estelle Carlson
dyer, handweaver, tailor, USA


image 3 of 26

Elemental Fibers

Experimentation with new and novel fibers was the inspiration for this garment. The dark black panels are created from handwoven cotton fibers purchased in Patan, India--there are weavers in Patan that will weave fabrics on order and I ordered quite a bit of this very lovely black cotton fabric. Combined with this is bogolanfini (mud-dyed) fabric that I painted--to create the texture on this fiber I used a variety of combs using the combs as a kind of brush. The back and front dyed panels are handknitted fibers and dyed with procion dyes. The fibers are wood and paper and bits of metal--the fibers are spun around cores of silk and cotton. The lining is silk.

The weavers and dyers in Africa use basic elements in creating their works of art--chicken feathers, paper and rocks for brushes--mud, ashes and shells for dyeing--and wood for lighting fires. This garment represents a return to "elemental fibers"--it is to show how African artists influence my work.

these pages submitted to africancraft.com by Estelle Carlson,
Oct. 1999 -- last updated, May. 2003