Exotic Fabrics by Paula Smith-Danell

Recycled Sari

On June 24, 2017 Paula Smith-Danell visited Columbia River Sewing for a special member event. Paula was an excellent speaker on upcycling used saris! She brought us many saris to look at (and buy!), as well as sample garments as inspirations. Look up her article in Threads magazine Volume 190, the April/May 2017 issue, for details on sewing with saris, how to work around possible holes or stains, lining to use, sari sources, and how to pick the best pattern to use. These beautiful garments/textiles have wonderful border designs, end designs on the ‘fall’, and with 5 1/2 to 9 yards of fabric about 48″ wide, there is plenty of fabric to work with.

African Textiles

In the afternoon, Paula gave an interesting presentation on African Textiles. A friend’s husband was in the State Department, stationed in Africa. Her friend collected and brought back quite a number of textile examples from all over Africa. Many were made in traditional ways. One was to make cloth from raffia, another was using thin sheets of bark pounded flat, another was weaving long strips of cotton fabric, and then stitching the edges together to make a larger cloth. Designs were incorporated with a variety of dyeing techniques. There were so many beautiful textiles!

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