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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ayurvastra Healing fabrics

Ayurvastra, if you haven't already heard of it, you soon will.  Also referred to as "Yoga for clothing", it is the ancient art of Indian medicine applied to fabrics, or loosely translated, healthy fabrics.  I sort of stumbled upon it in my experiments with natural dyes and my limited knowledge of Ayurvedic medicine. But it only makes sense that these two disciplines should be combined as there exists a huge range of plants that both utilize.

Very few companies are currently incorporating this philosophy of healing through fabrics into their clothing lines, but given the popularity of Yoga and the importance of natural medicine in our society today, it is only a matter of time before with see this practice popularized.  Similar to the organic food movement, there is a desire to avoid unnecessary contact with chemicals on our skin and consumers have been seeking healthy alternatives in the clothes they wear.  Ayurvastra goes one step beyond organic fibers with the addition of dyes that are medicinally beneficial in a variety of ways.

 "Research has shown a vitalizing effect as the person feels fresh and healthy. Selected herbal ingredients in the textiles have been found to cure diseases like arthritis and Hay fever, as it supplements and improves the natural function of the skin to block and resist harmful chemicals and toxins from entering the body."

This is a well practiced art in Indian culture, but the impact that it will have on the way we view clothing is enormous.  Our relationship with our clothing is changing and we are more and more aware of how its production impacts our environment. This awareness is now becoming more about the impacts on ourselves, and how clothing can be used to our benefit.  There is a vast an mostly unexplored realm of what our clothing can do for us and we are just beginning to see the potential as it buds.

I am that I am.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Great News!

With lots of help and encouragement of family and friends, I can proudly announce that my macrame bibs are now for sale in two locations. The Galleria in Calgary, AB and the Black Rooster Mercantile in Black Creek, B.C. both stores have a selection of my one-of-a-kind, cotton flannel, handmade bibs.

Since the completion of my one year zero-waste project I have taken small, yet terrifying steps out of my comfort zone to find my direction. Shortly after the last zero-waste project blog was posted, there were application deadlines for two local art galleries. Gratefully, without much time to talk myself out of it, I put together an application for each. It is a shift for me to consider my work as art, or as myself as an artist but part of me has always imagined creating some sort of installation.  So I came up with a display that could look like a woman's closet. Minimal and bohemian, the display is meant to draw in the passerby. Upon closer investigation the display reveals the variety of designs that can be created from one yard of fabric and with zero-waste construction.

With my applications submitted, I then had time to give to other projects. As some sort of grand gesture, my mind finally came around to figuring out how to complete the hemp baby blanket I began working on when my husband and I started dating. I also originally blogged about this blanket back in 2015 and by completing it I felt an unexpected and overwhelming sense of accomplishment!
It was almost symbolic as the squares of material were the original hemp fabric samples I received so many years ago when Soham Design created its first line of hemp yoga clothing. All these years later it seems clear that creating a line of children's clothing is a path I need to explore. Hence the construction of the baby bibs, although not hemp or zero-waste, they are quickly helping me navigate the mysteries of marketing. 

I have since heard back from one gallery and can proudly say, I received a beautiful rejection letter.   To me these comments are invaluable "know that your proposal was considered carefully; your zero-waste project is fascinating and relevant--".  I am truly humbled to be in the company of other local and Canadian artisans, whether briefly in the consideration process of a local gallery, or by sharing the shelves at a locally-crafted shop. 

I am that I am. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Soham Design: A Year In Review - Part I

Soham Design: A Year In Review - Part I: This post is maybe more for my own purposes but hopefully for your pleasure as well. It still boggles my mind that each of these garments, w...

A Year In Review - Part I

This post is maybe more for my own purposes but hopefully for your pleasure as well. It still boggles my mind that each of these garments, with the exception of 3, were created from the identical amount of fabric. It is a testament to the variety of clothing that can be made out of one yard of material and this collection hardly "scratches the surface".
I don't know that I've ever really explained why I chose zero-waste design as a constraint for this project. Or why I chose to constrain myself at all. It stems from my studies in Industrial design. As a student, we were tasked with design briefs that outlined what working with a potential client would be like. Part of this design process was to identify what the constraints were that would shape your ideas. They are helpful in guiding your design and reaching a desirable product, but they are also helpful to control the variables and push the boundaries. 
Packaging, to me, is an interesting part of Industrial design. Like fashion design, the outcome is a 3-dimensional product formed out of a 2 dimensional plane. (Sorry, that's the physics talking!)  A few years back, there were design competitions that challenged designers to create furniture out of one piece of 4x8 plywood. The results were inspiring! Could this "flat pack construction" constraint be applied to clothing design?
I then discovered zero-waste fashion and I'm not sure I can ever make another garment in the traditional sense ever again!

I am that I am.