Friday 2 January 2015

Garment 1: Agenda

Front - one of these arm slits is not like the other
This satisfying poncho is made of three new-but-old mohair scarves that once belonged to a friend's mother-in-law. New because they were unworn. Old because they were acquired over the course of a long lifetime, along with other mohair scarves, sweaters, coats, blankets...

Seems this lady had a big soft spot for mohair, but a big disinterest in wearing it. Or was there more to it? What attracted her to mohair? The loftiness? The luxuriousness? Did it remind her of a place or time? Or a person? Was there an empty space inside her that only mohair could fill?

Why didn't she wear it? Itchy? Allergic? Hot? It reminded her of some place, or time, or person? Was there an empty space in her that no amount of mohair could fill? This is what I wondered while my mind percolated on the weightless puffs - so cloud-like they refused to be properly folded.

I stared at them for many hours over many days before they gave up their secret. Even so, making the only cut was a complete leap of faith. My friend was counting on me. Or was that me?

The construction consisted mainly of pulling and separating the yarns from the edges of the scarves to use for stitching. I wasn't sure at first if I should pull the threads from the long or the short edges, but both proved equally - surprisingly! - stubbornly enmeshed. I don't know much about the process of weaving mohair, but from trying to un-make it I've deduced that it must require some sort of felting step. It looks airy and nearly fragile, but it's no pushover. It took an hour to produce each decent length of unbroken, not-too-frayed sewing thread, regardless if it was warp or weft. After that, stitching it by hand with a darning needle was easy-peasy lemon squeezy.

Back fringe detail
Small ball of yarn fluff
My only agenda was to create a true zero-waste garment, using all of the 3 mohair scarves, and nothing but the 3 mohair scarves; the rest was up to the mohair scarves, themselves. I came pretty close to my goal. This small ball of fluff and yarn is all that was left. It's earmarked for a future project involving The Beatles starring in their first full-length, hilarious, action-packed film!  "A Hard Day's Night". And some felting. Still percolating.

Note: A tiny brown mark just under the front right collar was original to the scarf when I received it.

Hmm. Maybe she did wear mohair.

Size S-M. For sale by appointment. Enquiries at
Photography by Jeff Minuk

No comments:

Post a Comment