Today we did some tests on different fibres. It was really interesting! There were also some rather disturbing discoveries as well. And lots of alternative ideas on how to get around these things. I love it! I came to learn about fibre, but I’m getting so much more than that out of this course! Wendy is just a fountain of knowledge with so many things that I would LOVE to know more about!
Speaking of Wendy, I would like to share a quote of hers that I love regarding making a living as a textile artist: “If I can’t make minimum wage, I might as well go for a canoe ride.” Wendy E. Bateman
One of the many valuable things we’re learning are ways to do our work environmentally friendly. This is going to be a goal for me. I’ve wanted to change my ways to start living a “greener” life, but I really didn’t know where to start. When you look that kind of thing up on the internet, you just get overwhelmed and bombarded. I also learn and retain information better from hearing actual people speak about their efforts. It really does help (for me anyway), to actually see the things they are talking about and discover places locally that carry them. For example, Wendy told us about this kind of dish soap that can also work as laundry detergent. It doesn’t harm the environment and you just need a little bit of it and… wait for it… A bottle of it is HALF of the price of laundry soap! It’s called Ecover Dishwashing Liquid. I’m going to be trying it for sure. In the Haliburton area, it is available at Marty’s.
There are a couple of other things we learned which I want to share with my blog friends (and hopefully they will pass it on to their friends). One of the most disturbing things I found out this week was about the dangers of fabric softener, liquid AND sheets. Liquid fabric softener is just plain horrible because it ultimately ends up clogging your plumbing. My parents had to have some pipes dug up and replaced because of this. The DISTURBING part about fabric softener is this: If you use fabric softener with clothing that has been labelled flame retardant, the fabric softener coats the fabric and takes those properties away. Fabric softener INCREASES the risk of clothing catching fire. When I found this out, I was absolutely mortified. I will be using a cup of vinegar, as suggested, to replace my Bounce sheets.
We did do various tests on various fabrics to find out different methods to remove stains such as ketchup, cooking oil, mustard, lipstick and pen. One example we did was to use a bar of Sunlight laundry detergent on a cleaning cloth made up of 85% viscose (aka rayon). It actually made the stain fluorescent yellow! I suppose you’re wondering what works best, right? Unfortunately, we were unable to get too deeply into the testing because of time constraints etc. I can tell you though, that you may want to add Ecover Stain Remover to your arsenal.
The other really important testing we did was burn tests. That was rather disturbing too. One thing that came out of it for me is that I will NEVER be buying any clothing, gloves etc. from the dollar store again. Some of the items that we tested from there were children’s items. Many of them caught fire immediately and then melted into plastic. Pretty sure I’m going to spend the extra money to keep my baby safe! (And I count my blessing that he has been thus far!) The other part to it is that Mom is getting a wool sweater for when she adds wood and works with the wood stove. That was also scary seeing how other fabrics, ones we wear every day, can catch fire so easily. Wendy shared a couple of stories with us and right then and there, I made the decision that there is going to be a “stove sweater” added to the list of my parents gear.
The other tests we did were viewing different fibres under the microscope. That was rather interesting too. I don’t mean to downplay it, but I can say that it certainly didn’t have the same impact on me that the other two tests did.
At the end of the day, I gave Wendy a ride home and and she let me see her studio. When I went into her basement, my little head exploded! A model for the Kycave, that’s for sure! She had two floor looms there. One was HUGE! There was another one that she had a rug on. She showed me her beautiful wedding kimono that she had weaved. She also showed me a book that was given to her by a class of grade 3 students (her most prized possession) when she spoke to them about weaving, the environment and showed them the sweat lodge she made out of 5,000 shopping bags. Oh my! There was also TONS of yarn. A beautiful doll house. And windows overlooking a beautiful lake. I would be in heaven if I had a studio like that.
I have to admit that I started welling up when I was down there (of course I tried to hide it from her, but I guess the cat is out the bag now!). With each passing day, I am gaining hope where I never had hope before. Talk about inspiration!
You know, there is NO REASON on this earth why I can’t have a beautiful Kycave one day. It is possible. I am just so inspired beyond words. I now have another new goal. Yay!