Saturday, July 22, 2017

"Ink Fern"
A New Collection of Digitally Designed Fabrics
Wearable Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

On this blog spot there are posts that center on my “Wearable Art” (e.g. scarves, digital or analogue created fabric lengths etc.) For your convenience I have listed these posts below.
A Selection of My Scarves
Leaves Transformed: A New Collection of Digitally Designed Fabrics
My New Silk Rayon Velvet Scarves@Purple Noon Art And Sculpture Gallery
My Fabric Lengths@QSDS
My Fabric Collection:"Oh, Oh Marilyn and Mona!"@Spoonflower
2013 Australian Craft Awards – Finalist
My Scarves@2014 Scarf Festival: Urban Artscape" Pashmina’s
New Scarves and Fabric Lengths
AIVA: My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
New Colorways For My 'Cultural Graffiti' Fabrics
Byzantine Glow: A New Collection of Digitally Designed Fabrics
Wall Flower: A New Collection of Digitally Designed Fabrics
Ink Fern: A New Collection of Digitally Designed Fabrics

I have been designing my hand dyed and hand printed fabric lengths using a range of fabrics and multiple surface design techniques. As a professional senior graphic designer/illustrator in a previous career, I have always had an interest in creating imagery, prints, illustrations, posters and publications using digital processes. This interest has led me to some fascinating explorations in the field of digitally created fabrics and textiles. I have uploaded my new digitally designed fabric collection - "Ink Fern" - to this blogspot.

"Ink Fern"- A New Collection of Digitally Designed Fabrics
The "Ink Fern" collection of digitally designed fabrics is a unique series of contemporary fabric designs based on printed images of ferns and grasses employing my signature Low Relief Screen Printing (LRSP) technique.

My low relief LRSP mono prints are imbued with a painterly, multi colored, richly textured and organic aesthetic and have been screen printed using pigment paints on cotton fabric. The imagery was then scanned and digitally reworked in Photoshop to create a superb complimentary colorways suite. The colors have been sensitively and painstakingly created to encompass the mysterious, deeply rich abstract fern shapes playing in the inky shadows of modern design aesthetics.

These deconstructed, contemporary, botanically influenced designs can be used for interior design, clothing items and other decorative purposes. There are five color-ways in the "Ink Fern" collection that are available for purchase - email me at Marie-Therese.

The printed designs are available in the following natural fibres from Spoonflower - basic cotton ultra, Kona® cotton ultra, cotton poplin ultra, light weight cotton twill, cotton spandex jersey, linen cotton canvas ultra, organic cotton knit ultra, organic cotton sateen ultra, heavy cotton twill and silky crepe de chine. The printed designs are also available in the following Spoonflower polyester range of fabrics - satin, performance pique, poly crepe de chine, silky faille, performance knit, modern jersey, fleece, minky, sport lycra, eco canvas and faux suede. Fabric widths vary from 40" (102 cm), 42" (107 cm), 54" (137 cm), 56" (142 cm), and 58" (147 cm) depending on the chosen fabric. The designs are also available to use as self-adhesive wallpaper and giftwrap paper - see Spoonflower for more information.

There is no minimum order and the printed fabrics range from a test swatch (8" x 8" or 20 cm x 20 cm) to a fat quarter (21" x 18" or 53 cm x 46 cm) or to whatever your yardage requirements may be.

These fabric designs can be used for wearable art, accessories, furnishing and interior design projects. If you would like to purchase fabric lengths from my "Ink Fern" collection please email me for pricing and/or any other information.

My "Ink Fern" collection - for wearable art, accessories, interior and other decorative design projects - are shown below. Each work in the collection below shows a fat quarter (21" x 18" or 53 x 46 cm) view of the printed fabric design and a one yard length (36" or 91.5 cm) view of the printed fabric design.

To view more of my Digital Fabric Collections please click the following url Spoonflower

Ink Fern 1 in blue, gold, cyan and black colorway (swatch).

Ink Fern 1 in blue, gold, cyan and black colorway (fat quarter).

Ink Fern 1 in blue, gold, cyan and black colorway (one yard).

Ink Fern 2 in lime, blue, grey and black colorway (swatch).

Ink Fern 2 in lime, blue, grey and black colorway (fat quarter).

Ink Fern 2 in lime, blue, grey and black colorway (one yard).

Ink Fern 3 in blue-violet, warm gold, red and black colorway (swatch).

Ink Fern 3 in blue-violet, warm gold, red and black colorway (fat quarter).

Ink Fern 3 in blue-violet, warm gold, red and black colorway (one yard).

Ink Fern 4 in red, pale grey-blues, myrtle green and black colorway (swatch).

Ink Fern 4 in red, pale grey-blues, myrtle green and black colorway (fat quarter).

Ink Fern 4 in red, pale grey-blues, myrtle green and black colorway (one yard).

Ink Fern 5 in orange, myrtle greens, olive and black colorway (swatch).

Ink Fern 5 in orange, myrtle greens, olive and black colorway (fat quarter).

Ink Fern 5 in orange, myrtle greens, olive and black colorway (one yard).

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Art of Costuming - Historic (Part I)
Wearable Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Clothes can be designed to be functional.

Fly fishing outfit.

Clothes can also be designed to appeal to your aesthetic.

Skirt - grunge 1990s.

Perhaps the least understood or for that matter, the most quirky concoction with respect to design and moreover, with no regard for acceptance, comfort, maintenance, durability and expense is the costume. It is an art form aimed to stretch the imagination beyond normal human bounds.

"To Believe in the Good Man." Gaiea (shown above) in her organic earthly splendour, confronts you the viewer as a representative of mankind (not shown), portrayed in a harsh synthetic garb.
Design, Construction & Model: Animal X.
Photography: Linda Sweeting.

The art of costuming falls naturally into three categories - historical, fantasy and futuristic. Historical costuming brings back historical designs but usually in the context of modern fabrics, colors and techniques of construction.

"Court of the Peacock King."
Design, Construction and Models: Kathy & Drew Sanders, Barb & Reg Schofield, Martin Miller, Caroline Julian, Carl Ontis, David Graham & Neola Caveny.

Role playing becomes part and parcel of the look, the style and the demeanour. You are noble not only because of the art of costuming, but because of your adopted mannerisms.

Fantasy may have out of context combinations. The constructs of an insect becomes the constructs of a costume. It is like Kafka’s Metamorphosis except you do not wake up and find you have become an insect, rather you dress and so you have embodied one.

Theatrical Costume.
Photograph: Paul Jeremias.

Futuristic is the most difficult to characterize since we are using today's technology for tomorrow's world. Here we must rely on where we want tomorrow to be rather than where we could be if tomorrow's technology was known to us now.

"When the Medicine Woman Weaves her Spell, the Snake Charmer Begins to Dance." Construction: Carol McKie Manning & Christen Brown.
Model: Jean Olson.
Photograph: Tom Henderson.

All images shown below comes from a book, The Costume Marker's Art, edited by Thom Boswell[1].

The Art of Costuming - Historic[1]
Historic costumes have a hidden romantic component built within them. The designer/constructor loves the era of fashion that they have created. It is not just dressing-up for the sake of it rather it is dressing-up because of the empathetic love for it. During the day the designer/constructor may be wearing jeans or a mini skirt but when they wear their own historic costumes they are transformed and are driven back to an era, where their psychology would love to reside.

"Sir Colin" - cavalier court suit.
Design & Construction: Adrian Butterfield.
Model: Tim Bray.
Photograph: Stephen Jacobson.

"Georgian Robe Française."
Design, Construction & Model: Victoria Ridenour.
Photograph: Stephen Jacobson.

"Elizabethan Court Gown."
Design, Construction & Model: Victoria Ridenour.
Photograph: Stephen Jacobson.

"Early Victorian Day Dress."
Design, Construction & Model: Victoria Ridenour.
Photograph: Stephen Jacobson.

"Postillion" ca. 1855.
Design, Construction & Model: Victoria Ridenour.
Photograph: Stephen Jacobson.

"Gentleman's Suit" ca 1820.
Design, Construction & Model: Adrian Butterfield.
Photograph: Stephen Jacobson.

"Ascot Dress" from the movie "My Fair Lady".
Design: Cecil Beaton.
Construction & Model: Janet Wilson Anderson.
Photograph: David Bickford.

"Napoleonic Court Dress" ca. 1806.
Design, Construction & Model: Janet Wilson Anderson.
Photograph: John Youden.

"The King and Queen of Swords."
Design and Construction: Gail Alien, Robin Lewis, Joao Soares, Stan Hits, Charlotte Davis, Jackie Cabasso & Rosmarie Bolte.
Photograph: Peter Villums.

"The King and Queen of Swords."
Design and Construction: Gail Alien, Robin Lewis, Joao Soares, Stan Hits, Charlotte Davis, Jackie Cabasso & Rosmarie Bolte.
Photograph: Peter Villums.

[1] The Costume Maker's Art, Lark Books, North Carolina (1992).

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Barkcloth Art of the Ömie

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

The South Pacific is broken up into a number of sub-regions: Polynesian, Micronesia, Melanesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand.

South Pacific regions.

Each Polynesian culture is unique, yet the peoples share some common traits. Polynesians share common origins as Austronesian speakers (Austronesian is a family of languages). The first known inhabitants of this region are called the Lapita peoples. Artists were part of a priestly class, followed in rank by warriors and commoners.

In all these distinctive cultures, gender roles were clearly defined. Gender played a major role, dictating women’s access to training, tools, and materials used in the arts. For example, women's arts historically utilized soft materials, particularly fibers used to make mats and barkcloth. Cloth made of bark is generically known as tapa across the region, although terminology, decorations, dyes, and designs vary through out the islands and Papua New Guinea.

Hawaiian tapa (barkcloth), 1770s (Te Papa Museum, New Zealand).
Size: 64.5 x 129 cm.

In Samoa, designs were sometimes stained or rubbed on with wooden or fiber design tablets. In Hawaii patterns could be applied with stamps made out of bamboo, whereas stencils of banana leaves or other suitable materials were used in Fiji. Barkcloth can also be undecorated, hand decorated, or smoked as is seen in Fiji. Design illustrations involved geometric motifs in an overall ordered and abstract patterns.

Masi (tapa cloth), likely used as a room divider, Fiji, date unknown (Te Papa Museum, New Zealand).

The most important traditional uses for tapa were for clothing, bedding and wall hangings. Textiles were often specially prepared and decorated for people of rank. Tapa was ceremonially displayed on special occasions, such as birthdays and weddings. In sacred contexts, tapa was used to wrap images of deities. Even today, at times of death, barkcloth may be an integral part of funeral and burial rites.

Barkcloth strip, Fiji, ca. 1800-50, worn as a loin cloth, decorated with a combination of free-hand painting, cut out stencils and by being laid over a patterned block and rubbed with pigment (The British Museum).

Barkcloth Art of the Ömie[2]
The Ömie live on the southern slopes of Mount Lamington in Oro Province in Papua New Guinea.

Oro Province in Papua New Guinea.

Mount Lamington is an andesitic strato volcano in the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea. The forested peak of the volcano had not been recognized as such until a devastating eruption occurred in 1951 that caused about 3,000 deaths. The volcano rises to 1680 meters above the coastal plain north of the Owen Stanley Range.

Barkcloth is the customary textile of the Ömie with women wearing "nioge" (skirts) while men wear "givai" (loincloths). Ömie barkcloths are still worn today by men, women and children during traditional ceremonies which can involve feasting and spectacular performances of singing, dancing and kundu-drumming. Barkcloth also serves important purposes in marriage as offerings to the ancestors, bride-price gifts, as well as in funerary and initiation ceremonies. It is an integral part of everyday life for the Ömie and plays a critical role in defining their unique cultural identity.

Filma Rumono barkcloth (detail).
Size: 100 x 194 cm.
Photograph courtesy of D. Baker.

Barkcloth is prepared by women who harvest the inner layer of bark from the rainforest trees. They then rinse, fold and pound repetitiously the bark on flat stones using black palm mallets until a strong, fibrous sheet of cloth is produced. The cloth is left to dry in the sun. The barkcloth is dyed using a rich and earthy palette of natural bush dyes including red, yellow, green and black pigments, which are created from fruits, ferns, leaves and charcoal. Ancient clan designs are painted in freehand onto the cloth or the cloth is dyed in river mud and the designs are appliquéd using a bat-wing bone needle. Common painting implements include strong grasses, fashioned wooden sticks and brushes made from frayed betelnut husks.

The Ömie women spread the nyog'e (double skin designs) on the mat.

Artists inherit clan designs as young women by birthright or marriage from their mothers, grandmothers and mother-in-laws, and in some instances from their fathers and husbands. Most designs are generations old but some elderly artists who have attained a level of mastery, usually Duvahe (Chiefs), are free to paint their uehorëro (wisdom), creating new designs.

Ömie barkcloth - detail (2005).
Size: 112 x 130 cm.
Photograph courtesy of D. Baker.

The Ömie’s female Chief system is primarily based upon a woman’s barkcloth painting talents and the cultural knowledge she attains over a lifetime. All painting designs originate or are derived from traditional Ömie culture and the natural environment, maintaining and communicating artists’ deep connection to their Ancestors and country.

An Ömie painting on barkcloth of custom fish skeleton by Jean Margret Hoijo.

Vivian Marumi, barkcloth.
Size: 65 x 108 cm.
Photograph courtesy of D. Baker.

Filma Rumono barkcloth.
Size: 100 x 194 cm.
Photograph courtesy of D. Baker.

Since the first exhibition in 2006 the barkcloth art of the Ömie women has been highly celebrated, culminating in the National Gallery of Victoria’s landmark exhibition Wisdom of the Mountain: Art of the Ömie in 2009.

Fate Savari: Gardens (with yams, red pandanus, white yams, beaks of the parrot, pig hoofprints, bees, boys chopping tree branches, beaks of Blyth’s Hornbill, spots of the wood-boring grub and old animal bones found while digging in the garden) - 2013.
Size: 104 x 73 cm.
Courtesy of Ömie Artists.

Botha Kimmikimmi - Ömie mountains, eggs of the Dwarf Cassowary, beaks of Blyth’s Hornbill and spots of the wood-boring grub - 2012.
Size: 113 x 93 cm.
Courtesy of Ömie Artists.

Ömie Artists is fully owned and governed by the Ömie people. Five Art Centers service artists across twelve villages and each of the centers play a vital role by ensuring that the ancient tradition of barkcloth painting as well as traditional culture remain strong and provide economic returns to their artists. For further details of their work and their collective - see their website: Ömie artists

[1] Dr. Caroline Karr,


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Crêpe Effect Fabrics
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

This is the sixty-sixth post in the "Art Resource" series, specifically aimed to construct an appropriate knowledge base in order to develop an artistic voice in ArtCloth.

Other posts in this series are:
Glossary of Terms
Units Used in Dyeing and Printing of Fabrics
Occupational, Health & Safety
A Brief History of Color
The Nature of Color
Psychology of Color
Color Schemes
The Naming of Colors
The Munsell Color Classification System
Methuen Color Index and Classification System
The CIE System
Pantone - A Modern Color Classification System
Optical Properties of Fiber Materials
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part I
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part II
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part III
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part IV
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part V
Protein Fibers - Wool
Protein Fibers - Speciality Hair Fibers
Protein Fibers - Silk
Protein Fibers - Wool versus Silk
Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Cotton
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Linen
Other Natural Cellulosic Fibers
General Overview of Man-Made Fibers
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Viscose
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Esters
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Nylon
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Polyester
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Acrylic and Modacrylic
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Olefins
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Elastomers
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Mineral Fibers
Man Made Fibers - Other Textile Fibers
Fiber Blends
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part I
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part II
Melt-Spun Fibers
Characteristics of Filament Yarn
Yarn Classification
Direct Spun Yarns
Textured Filament Yarns
Fabric Construction - Felt
Fabric Construction - Nonwoven fabrics
A Fashion Data Base
Fabric Construction - Leather
Fabric Construction - Films
Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins
Fabric Construction – Foams and Poromeric Material
Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns
Weaving and the Loom
Similarities and Differences in Woven Fabrics
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part I)
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part II)
The Three Basic Weaves - Twill Weave
The Three Basic Weaves - Satin Weave
Figured Weaves - Leno Weave
Figured Weaves – Piqué Weave
Figured Fabrics
Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements
Crêpe Fabrics

The Glossary of Terms, Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff, A Fashion Data Base, Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins, Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns and Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements have been updated in order to better inform your art practice.

If you find any post on this blog site useful, you can save it or copy and paste it into your own "Word" document etc. for your future reference. For example, Safari allows you to save a post (e.g. click on "File", click on "Print" and release, click on "PDF" and then click on "Save As" and release - and a PDF should appear where you have stored it). Safari also allows you to mail a post to a friend (click on "File", and then point cursor to "Mail Contents On This Page" and release). Either way, this or other posts on this site may be a useful Art Resource for you.

The Art Resource series will be the first post in each calendar month. Remember - these Art Resource posts span information that will be useful for a home hobbyist to that required by a final year University Fine-Art student and so undoubtedly, some parts of any Art Resource post may appear far too technical for your needs (skip over those mind boggling parts) and in other parts, it may be too simplistic with respect to your level of knowledge (ditto the skip). The trade-off between these two extremes will mean that Art Resource posts will hopefully be useful in parts to most, but unfortunately may not be satisfying to all!

This is the second post on crêpe - see Crêpe Fabrics). The crinkle effect of true crêpe can be simulated by use of textured polyester yarns in the filling direction of the fabric, by weave and by finishes.

Dress in textured crêpe decorated with lace.

Crêpe Effect by Textured Yarns
Filament polyester yarns textured by the false twist process (see post - ) are woven as the filling yarn in a plain weave fabric with standard filament yarns in the warp. These textured filament yarns are low-twist. The warp yarns are low-twist polyester or triacetate filament fibers. The crêpe effect forms during the wet finishing of the cloth when the textured polyester shrinks. The finished fabric has a high level of crinkle, good hand, and exceptional performance for the consumer. One of the first textured yarn crêpes on the market was “whipped Cream” by the Klopman Co.

A vintage 1970s super cute bow tie dress in a light and floaty polyester whipped cream crêpe fabric by Klopman Mills. Fabric is purple with a printed pattern of polka-dots, circles and bubbles in white and navy blue.

Crêpe Effect by Weaving
Two kinds of weaves are used: the crêpe weave and the slack tension weave.

Crêpe Weave
Crêpe is a name given to a class of weaves that present no twilled or other distinct weave effect but give the cloth the appearance of being sprinkled with small spots and seeds. The effect is an imitation of true crêpe, which is developed from yarns of high twist. They are made on a loom with a dobby attachment. Some are variations of satin weave with the filling yarns forming the irregular floats. Some are even-sided and some have a decided warp effect.

Astute crêpe weave dress, black.

Crêpe weave is also called granite or momie weave. Fibers that do not lend themselves to true crepe techniques are often used in making crêpe weave fabrics.

Vintage 60s barkcloth MuuMuu maxi dress - momie weave green.

Wool and cotton fibers are also used frequently because the crêpe-effect fabric is easier to care for than true crepes. For comparison of characteristics see the table of the comparison of crepe fabrics in the previous art resource post. The irregular interlacing pattern of crepe weave is shown in the figure below.

Crêpe weave; irregular interlacings.

Sand crêpe is one of the most common crêpe weave fabrics. It has a repeat pattern of 16 warp and 16 filling and requires 16 harnesses. No float is greater than two yarns in length. It is woven of either spun or filament yarns. The silk-like acetate and sand crepe (Magic crêpe etc.) is widely used.

Sand crêpe Ria dress – 100% viscose.

Granite cloth is made with granite weave, based on the satin weave, and is an even-sided fabric with no long floats and no twilled effect. It is used in ginghams, draperies etc.

Moss crêpe is a combination of true crêpe yarns and crêpe weave. The fiber content is usually rayon and acetate. The yarns are ply yarns with one ply made of crepe twist rayon fiber. Regular yarns may be alternated with the ply yarns or they may be used in one direction while the ply yarns are used in the other direction. This fabric should be treated as a true crêpe fabric. Moss crêpe is used in dresses and blouses.

Moss crêpe blouse.

Slack Tension Weave
In slack tension weaving, two warp beams are used. The yarns on one beam are held together at regular tension and those on the other beam are held at slack tension. As the reed beats the filling yarn into place, the slack yarns crinkle or buckle to form the puckered stripe and the regular tensioned yarns form the flat stripe. (Loop pile fabrics are made by a similar weave – see future post). Seersucker is the fabric made by slack tension weave.

Seersucker showing the difference in length of the slack and regular tension yarns.

The yarns are wound onto the two warp beams in groups of 10 to 16. The crinkle stripe may have slightly larger yarns to enhance the crinkle stripe and this stripe may also have a 2 x 1 basket weave. The stripes are always in the warp direction. Seersucker is produced by a limited number of manufacturers. It is a low-profit high-cost item to produce because of the slow weaving process. Most seersuckers are made within 45 inch widths in plain colors, stripes, plaids and checks. Cotton, polyester, acetate and triacetate fibers are used singly or in blends. Seersucker is used in large amounts in the men’s wear trade for suitings and for women’s and children’s dresses and sportswear.

Seersucker tank swimsuit.

Crêpe Effect by Finish
This effect is usually achieved by plisséíng or embossing a plain woven fabric. The pucker is permanent or durable.

Plissé is converted from either lawn or print cloth grey goods by printing sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) on the cloth in the form of stripes or designs. The chemical causes the fabric to shrink in the treated areas. As the treated stripe shrinks, it causes the untreated stripe to pucker. Shrinkage causes a slight difference in thread count between the two stripes. The untreated or plain stripe increases thread count as it shrinks. The upper portion of the cloth in figure below shows how the cloth looks before finishing and the lower portion shows the crinkle produced by the caustic soda treatment. This piece of goods was found on a remnant counter and was defective because the roller failed to print the chemical in the unpuckered area.

Plissé crêpe.

Tadashi Shoji one-shoulder plissé gown.

Embossed crêpe is made by pressing a crinkled design onto the surface of the cloth. Cotton cloth must be given a resin finish also to make the design durable. Thermoplastic fibers can be heat-set to make the design permanent.

Adrianna Papell women's lace embossed crêpe sheath.

[1] N. Hollen and J. Saddler, Textiles, 3rd Edition, MacMillan Company, London (1968).