Saturday, March 31, 2018

Art Quilts - Part III
Art Review

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
Art Quilts have featured on this blogspot and so for your convenience I have listed below previous posts.
Art Quilts - Part I
Art Quilts - Part II


Introduction
The art of quilting basically involves stitching together two or more layers of fabric to form a decorative design on the top surface, either to create warmth and softness or simply to add interest. There are four main types of quilting, each with its own characteristics.

Padded or "English" quilting
This is perhaps the best known form of quilting where the entire surface is padded. Two layers of fabric and one of padding are required.

A coverlet made from a wide range of block-printed cotton (England, 1797).
Victoria Albert Museum is the world's greatest museum of design and the arts: its collections cover two thousand years up to the present, in virtually every medium and from Britain, Europe and Asia.

Stuffed or "Trapunto" quilting
Here the design is stitched first then certain areas are stuffed with padding from behind to make them stand out.

Victoria Albert Museum. Detail tristan trapunto quilt circa 1360-1400 AD.

Corded or "Italian" quilting.
Only two layers of fabric are used here. The raised design is made by inserting rug yarn, quilting yarn or cord between double lines of stitching.


Characteristics: Fabric-usually lustrous, silk, satin, shantung, also fine linen, polished cotton Design-flowing parallel lines worked in running stitch, back stitch or machine Traditional work did not have other embroidery stitches Padding-cord, wool or wool tops, between parallel lines creating a raised surface| Thread-cotton or linen, same or contrast colour Quilting or trapunto is often used in association.

Flat quilting
Two layers of fabric are held together by an overall-design of decorative stitching, but no padding is inserted. This type of quilting gives body and extra warmth to the fabric without adding bulk. Most Art Quilts fall into this category, since in most cases the quilts are only useful for display as a work of art rather than for practical use.

Melody Johnson, "Autumn Hues".
Hand dyed cottons, fused, machine quilted.

Today's blog will investigate some Art Quilts that have featured in reference[1].


Art Quilts[1]
Many people see the genesis of today's fiber scene to have arisen from the counterculture movement of the 1960s, where young people lived tribally, tie-dyeing and weaving fabric, embroidering their blue jeans and spinning yarn from their own sheep, goats, rabbits and dogs. The era kicked off creative street fashion - at a time when no one even heard of the word "Indy". I hope you enjoy these artists.


Artist: Iran Lawrence; Title: Dowery.
Technique and Materials: Hand dyed, machine pieced and hand quilted; cotton muslin.
Size: 62 inches in diameter.
Photograph: John Jenkins.


Artist: Vebjorg Hagene Thoe; Title: Northern Lights.
Technique and Materials: Machine seam application; silk, cotton, nylon, velvet.
Size: 39 x 29 cm.


Artist: Jane Fawkes; Title: Howe Sound Summer.
Technique and Materials: Quilted and machine stitched cotton, painted with acrylic.
Size: 28 x 38 inches.


Artist: Dominie Nash; Title: New Day.
Technique and Materials: Piecing, appliqué, machine quilting, drawing; cotton, dyes, pastel.
Size: 31 x 51.5 inches.
Photograph: Edward Owen.


Artist: Judith A. Weiss; Title: Bijou Dream.
Technique and Materials: Pattern drifting, piecing, quilting; cotton and cotton blends.
Size: 49 x 49 inches.
Photograph: Calista Lawton.


Artist: Judith Tinkl; Title: Trellis.
Technique and Materials: Pieced and quilted cotton and synthetics.
Size: 74.5 x 92 inches.
Photograph: Saltmarche.


Artist: Emily Zopf; Title: October.
Technique and Materials: Pieced, quilted, and hand painted cottons.
Size: 78 x 41 inches.
Photograph: Linda Kimura Rees.


Artist: Lynne Sward; Title: Fragment Series II.
Technique and Materials: Machine sewn cotton and cotton blends.
Size: 15 x 12 x 2 inches.
Photograph: Brenda Wright.


Artist: Judith Larzelere; Title: Fragment Jappa Sunrise.
Technique and Materials: Machine strip piece and quilted cotton broadcloth and chintz.
Size: 113 x 84 inches.
Photograph: Bindas Studio.


Artist: Ursula Gerber-Senger; Title: Metropolitan.
Technique and Materials: Hand pieced and quilted silk, cotton, satin, and velveteen.
Size: 235 x 185 cm.
Photograph: T. Cugini, Zurich.


Reference
[1] Ed. K. Mathews, FiberArts Design Book Three, Lark Books, Asheville (1987).

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Appliqué Creations of the 1980s[1]
Art Review

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Introduction[1]
Appliqué, as the name suggests, is the art of applying shapes cut from a variety of different fabrics onto a different background material. As a form of needlework, it can be traced back at least as far as the time of the Crusades when knights wore appliquéd heraldic insignias.

Knight templar tunic - cotton tabard with split sides and rope belt. Large red appliqued cross insignia. Leather dagging at hem and armlets.

There is also evidence of a much earlier type of decorative appliqué dating back to the ancient Egyptians. Excellent examples of appliqué which have survived in good condition can be found on many of the early embroidered vestments: the appliqué was worked in velvets and silks and embellished with gold and silver threads.

An early 17th Century Spanish example of appliqué. Part of a cope, the figure of John the Evangelist is embroidered on satin and applied to a velvet background with additional gold thread decoration.

Appliqué was also used to decorate wall hangings: often linen was richly embroidered and then applied to a background of heavy velvet.

The Art travelled from Europe to America with the early settlers, and some of the finest designs can be seen on coverlets and quilts of this period. The women used every scrap of material to create fascinating patterns, which reflected their homes and surroundings. Sometimes these bedcovers were made up in sections, each decorated with a different appliqué design.

This appliqué quilt's place of origin is easy to determine, since two of the chintz cutouts depict the figure of Liberty and the American eagle. It forms part of a friendship quilt completed in 1862.

Appliqué was very popular in the 1980s, perhaps because it relies more on the imagination and creativity than sewing. It can be used to decorate furnishings and any number of garments and is an ideal way of rejuvenating worn and old garments. Today, in developed countries with a throw-away attitude mending, adorning and rejuvenation are becoming a lost "art".


Appliqué Creations of the 1980s[1]

Artist: Rosita Johanson; Title: The Beach.
Technique and Materials: Machine appliqué; cotton, cotton blends.
Size: 8 x 6.5 inches.
Photography: Lenscape Incorporated.

Artist: Rosita Johanson; Title: Coming Home.
Technique and Materials: Machine appliqué; cotton, cotton blends.
Size: 8 x 6 inches.
Photography: Lenscape Incorporated.

Artist: Martha Cole; Title: Railroad Crossing.
Technique and Materials: Appliqué, free machine embroidery; assorted fabrics, fabric paints, cotton threads.
Size: 72 x 38 x 1.5 inches.
Photography: C. Pittenger.

Artist: Charlotte Kennedy; Title: Bugaku.
Technique and Materials: Appliqué, hand, and machine embroidery, quilting; linen/cotton prints, moire, felt, silk threads, beads.
Size: 20 x 24 x 1 inches.
Photography: Bill R. Jans.

Artist: Martha Cole; Title: Silicon Connection.
Technique and Materials: Appliqué; cotton fabrics, cotton blends.
Size: 96 x 48 x 1.5 inches.
Photography: I. Berg Muller.

Artist: Jo Cosli; Title: Ragsie's Rug.
Technique and Materials: Dyed felt appliqué, quilted with yarn.
Size: 38 x 23 inches.

Artist: Linda Lochmiller; Title: My Life.
Technique and Materials: Reverse and 3-dimensional appliqué; cotton.
Size: 35 x 25 inches.
Photography: Roger Vandiver.

Artist: Star Moxley; Title: No! Not the Dark Dress!
Technique and Materials: Appliqué; cotton, cotton/poly chintz.
Size: 70 x 48 inches.
Photography: Michael Cordell.


Reference:
[1] Ed. K. Mathews, FiberArts Design Book Three, Lark Books, Asheville (1987).

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Handmade Paper Artworks
Works on Paper

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Introduction
The forerunner of paper was papyrus, processed from the papyrus reed, which grew abundantly along the River Nile in Ancient Egypt. Evidence of Egyptian papyrus, dating as early as 3000 BCE has been found in numerous letters and documents preserved in sealed jars within tombs.

Papyrus sheets were made by removing the fibrous layers from the stem of the reed, and spreading them out side by side to form a sheet. More layers were placed at right angles to the first sheet and the two sets were glued together, probably by moistening with river water or with a paste made from wheat flour.

Papermaking as we know it today originated in China in about 105 AD, during the Eastern Han Dynasty. Under the Emperor Ho Ti, the Minister of Agriculture, T'sai Lin, began experimenting to produce a new material by breaking the inner bark of mulberry trees into fibers and then pounding them into sheets. This new type of paper replaced the traditional writing materials of bamboo and silk. Later, the Chinese discovered that paper could also be made from cotton and linen rags, hemp and old fishing nets.

The process of paper making in ancient China. Stage 1: bamboo shoots are stripped of the outer covering, cut lengthwise, pounded until flattened and soaked in water until the plant fibers dissolve. Stage 2: the fibers are pounded to a pulp. Stage 3: the pulp is heated and left to dry.

In the 8th Century an attack by the Chinese on the Arabs of Samarkand resulted in the capture of many Chinese prisoners. They were exhorted to teach their craft and thus the art of paper making spread throughout the Arab world. By the 9th Century, paper making had spread to Egypt, thereby ending over 4,000 years of papyrus.

Early 8th Century parchment manuscript; the art of paper making was still unknown in Europe.

Papermaking was introduced to Europe in the 12th Century with the Moorish conquest of Spain, and to North America with the Spanish domination of Mexico in the 16th Century. The first paper mill to be established in America was in 1690 at Germantown, Pennsylvania.

For several hundred years, paper was made by breaking down rags into fiber. It was not until 1840, with the process invented by a German, Friedrich Keller, that paper was made by reducing logs into a fibrous pulp. This process was refined in 1867 by an American Benjamin Tilghman and so began the technique used in the modern paper industry today.


Handmade Paper - Works of Art[1]
This post is not concerned with prints on paper nor with origami. Rather it focusses on the transformation of handmade paper into works of art.

Artist: Cindy K. Rogers; Title: Meg, from the Paper Dog Series.
Technique and Materials: Pulled paper, hand sewing, appliqué; cotton rag pulp with lichen, glass beads, dog teeth, brass strings, gouache.
Size: 7 x 9 x 1 inches.

Artist: Ida Irene Guldhammer; Title: Blue Composition.
Technique and Materials: Dyed, torn, painted and lacquered handmade paper.
Size: 120 x 180 x 5 inches.

Artist: Leanne Weissler; Title: Environment 1 Teepee.
Technique and Materials: Poured pulp; gampi paper, bamboo, and flax thread.
Size: 20 x 19 x 15 inches.
Photography: Nick Saraco.

Artist: Donna Guardino; Title: Ceremonial Robe.
Technique and Materials: Handmade paper, painting and assemblage; cotton linters, raffia, shells, feather and willow.
Size: 36 x 40 inches.
Photography: Ron Zak.

Artist: John L. Kopchik; Title: Pink Diamonds.
Technique and Materials: Handmade paper, marbled paper, metallic pigments, thread and glass beads.
Size: 45 x 38 x 2.5 inches, framed.

Artist: Hey Frey; Title: Exit Above.
Technique and Materials: Collage, stitching, painting; handmade paper, acrylic paint, and cotton.
Size: 32 x 40 inches.
Photography: John Guest.

Artist: Kathy Wosika; Title: Hornpipe and Jig to Reel.
Technique and Materials: Wet pulp appliqué; abaca and cotton pulp, and spruce sticks.
Size: 14 x 32 inches.
Photography: E.Z. Smith.

Artist: Yael Bentovim; Title: Flight.
Technique and Materials: Airbrushed home made paper; cotton linter, threaded sisal.
Size: 55 x 50 inches.
Photography: Claire Curran.

Artist: Deborah L. Burton; Title: Edges #1.
Technique and Materials: Handmade paper, acrylic, watercolour and dowels.
Size: 6 x 10 inches each.

Artist: Barbara J. Allen; Title: Yellow Stick Construction.
Technique and Materials: Pleating, weaving, wrapping; handmade flax and abaca paper, linen, wood stick, dye and inks.
Size: 11 x 14 x 3 inches.

Artist: Charles Needy; Title: Mediation, series #130.
Technique and Materials: Handmade cotton paper and dried grasses.
Size: 22.5 x 33 inches.

Artist: Dennis Samuels; Title: Stepping Out.
Technique and Materials: Pieced, machine stitched and appliquéd hand-dyed rice paper.
Size: 36 x 36 inches.
Photography: Vicky Veenstra.

Artist: Kathryn Maxwell; Title: Trouble in Paradise.
Technique and Materials: Handmade paper.
Size: 23 x 29 inches.
Photography: Kathryn Maxwell.

Artist: Lois Dvorak; Title: Life Among the Palms.
Technique and Materials: Handmade paper, flax roving raffia and palm leaf, and ink.
Size: 25 x 32 inches.
Photography: R. Dvorak.


Reference:
[1] Ed. K. Mathews, FiberArts Design Book Three, Lark Books, Asheville (1987).

Saturday, March 10, 2018

"Renaissance Man"
My New Hand Dyed & Printed Fabric Design
ArtCloth Lengths

Marie-Therese Wisniowski



Preamble
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 My 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" Pashminas
My New Scarves and Fabric Lengths
New Range of Silk Neckties - Karma and Akash
AIVA: My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
New Colorways For My 'Cultural Graffiti' Fabrics
Byzantine Glow: A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
Wall Flower: A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
Ink Fern - A New Collection of My Digitally Designed Fabrics
Celebratory Fireworks
My New Silk ArtCloth Scarves
New ‘Unique State’ Silk ArtCloth Scarves
UBIRR
 - My New Hand Dyed & Printed Fabric Design
Renaissance Man
Banksia - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design

Ginkgo Love - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design

“Garden Delights I & II”
 - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
Wallflower III - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
Rainforest Beauty
 Collection - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
Spring & Autumn Flurry Collection
 - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design

La Volute Collection - My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
Urban Butterfly -
 My New Hand Printed Fabric Design
Acanthus Dream
 - My New Hand Printed Fabric Design

Cascading Acanthus - 
My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design
My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed 'Rainforest Beauty' Pashmina Wraps Collection


Introduction[1]
The “Vitruvian Man” was created by Leonardo da Vinci around the year 1487. The drawing, which is in pen and ink on paper, depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square. The drawing and text are sometimes called the "Canon of Proportions" or less often, "Proportions of Man".

The proportional relationship of the parts reflects a universal design. A "medical" equilibrium of elements ensures a stable structure. In the late 1480s, this theme of the artistic microcosm emerged as one of the unifying principles of da Vinci's thought. This architectural application is not the end of the matter, rather it represents the beginning of a concept, which had a literally universal application.

This image provides the perfect example of Leonardo's keen interest in proportion. In addition, this image represents a cornerstone of Leonardo's attempts to relate man to nature. Encyclopaedia Britannica online states: "Leonardo envisaged the great picture chart of the human body he had produced through his anatomical drawings and Vitruvian Man as a cosmografia del minor mondo (cosmography of the microcosm). He believed the


Concept and Techniques/Processes Used to Create the Fabrics
My new, contemporary fabric design, “Renaissance Man” is my tribute to Leonardo Da Vinci’s legacy to the enrichment of Western culture. Leonardo (1452-1519) was a painter, architect, inventor, and student of all things scientific. His natural genius crossed so many disciplines that he embodied the term - the “Renaissance Man.”

Leonardo’s drawings would become an essential part of his legacy. He sketched prolifically, planning futuristic inventions, exploring human anatomy, and blocks for paintings such as “The Virgin of the Rocks” and his mural “The Last Supper”.

An interesting feature of Leonardo’s is his cursive mirror writing style - a special kind of shorthand that he invented. Perhaps the most widely seen piece of Leonardo's mirror writing is his notes on “Vitruvian Man” - his famous drawing that fits the proportions of the human body into the geometry of both a circle and a square.

Not only did Leonardo write with a special kind of shorthand that he invented himself, he also mirrored his writing, starting at the right side of the page and moving to the left. Only when he was writing something intended for other people did he write in the normal direction - left to right[2].

The purpose of his mirror writing is unknown, but one idea is that it may have kept his hands clean. People who were contemporaries of Leonardo left records that they saw him write and paint left handed. He also made sketches showing his own left hand at work. As a left-handed person, this mirrored writing style would have prevented him from smudging his ink as he wrote[2].

Knowing that not all languages are written from left to right – traditional Arabic languages are written from right to left and traditional Japanese is written from top to bottom - I also researched other writing styles that emulated Leonardo’s writing methodology and came across the ancient Indus Script, which was written from right to left. The ancient undeciphered (to this day) Indus Script combined both word signs/images and symbols much like Leonardo. An image from a collection of terracotta seals displaying the Indus Valley script was reworked into a contemporary silk screen visual.

The beautiful, individual, cursive, mirrored script is a hallmark that resides in many of Leonardo’s works and so I have concentrated on this aspect as one of the main design features in my new, unique and contemporary fabric design - “Renaissance Man”.

The design comes in two colorways - one in magenta/purple hues, the other in blue/purple hues. These colors were thoughtfully chosen to encapsulate the richly colored contemporary hues that are available in today’s world of dyes and paints.

White cotton fabrics were dyed and over dyed using time-honored hand dyeing techniques to add visual depth, pattern and contrast to the fabric background/s. The fabrics were then screen-printed with constructed images of the "Vitruvian Man” over the entire fabric lengths. Using analogous colors (in each specific colorway), additional layers of complex images were overprinted in transparent, opaque and metallic pigments until a richly hued and textured surface was created.

Still employing time-honored hand printing processes, additional writings of Leonardo’s were reworked and then screen-printed in metallic gold pigment over the complex layers to build on the visually rich and dense surface layers – adding contrast, depth and a sumptuous aesthetic to the design.

Finally, the last layer, the Indus Valley Seal script image, was overprinted in rich metallic gold pigment to create additional movement and a highly evocative visual contrast to the already sumptuous and multi-layered design - a tribute to Leonardo’s rich and enduring legacy!

The fabric and patterning in “Renaissance Man” can be designed using colors of your choice to create a truly unique and individual statement. “Renaissance Man” fabric lengths can be used for wearable art, accessories, patch work, quilts, furnishings, as framed artworks and interior design projects. Please email me at - Marie-Therese - to discuss further options.


“Renaissance Man”
My New Hand Dyed and Hand Printed Fabric Design


View of “Renaissance Man” design as fat quarters (close up). The design comes in two colorways - one in magenta/purple hues (left), the other in blue/purple hues (right).

“Renaissance Man” in magenta/purple hues (full view).
Technique: Dyed, overdyed, screen printed employing transparent, opaque and metallic pigments on cotton.
Size: 113 cm wide x 100 cm high printed on cotton.

“Renaissance Man” in magenta/purple hues (detail view).

“Renaissance Man” in magenta/purple hues (detail view).

“Renaissance Man” in blue/purple hues (full view). Technique: Dyed, overdyed, screen printed employing transparent, opaque and metallic pigments on cotton.
Size: 113 cm wide x 100 cm high printed on cotton.

“Renaissance Man” in blue/purple hues (detail view).

“Renaissance Man” in blue/purple hues (detail view).


References:
[1] Leonardo da Vinci. Net - https://www.leonardodavinci.net/the-vitruvian-man.jsp

[2] Museum of Science, Boston. https://www.mos.org/leonardo/activities/mirror-writing

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Napped Fabrics – Part II [1]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
This is the seventy-fourth 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 Cultural and Architectural 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
Knitting
Hosiery
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
Crêpe Effect Fabrics
Pile Fabrics - General
Woven Pile Fabrics
Chenille Yarn and Tufted Pile Fabrics
Knit-Pile Fabrics
Flocked Pile Fabrics and Other Pile Construction Processes
Glossary of Paper, Photography, Printing, Prints and Publication Terms
Napped Fabrics – Part I
Napped Fabrics – Part II
Double Cloth
Multicomponent Fabrics
Knit-Sew or Stitch Through Fabrics
Finishes - Overview
Finishes - Initial Fabric Cleaning
Mechanical Finishes - Part I
Mechanical Finishes - Part II
Additive Finishes
Chemical Finishes - Bleaching
Glossary of Scientific Terms
Chemical Finishes - Acid Finishes
Finishes: Mercerization
Finishes: Waterproof and Water-Repellent Fabrics
Finishes: Flame-Proofed Fabrics

There are currently eight data bases on this blogspot, namely, the Glossary of Cultural and Architectural Terms, Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff, A Fashion Data Base, the Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins, the Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns, Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements, Glossary of Paper, Photography, Printing, Prints and Publication Terms and the Glossary of Scientific Terms, which has been updated to Version 3.5. All data bases will be updated from time-to-time in the future.

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!


Introduction
Blankets are a specialized end-use group of fabrics, which are primarily used for warmth. A maximum amount of nap is desired, since the effectiveness of the blanket depends on the amount of dead air space in it.
Nap quilted throw blanket.

Today’s post concludes our investigation into napped fabrics.


Blankets[1]
With modern heated houses and the additional use of electric blankets, fewer blankets are needed in cold climates than what were needed many years ago. There is also a trend toward the use of thinner “sheet” blankets.

Thinner “sheet” blanket.

Fiber content is an important factor in the selection of blankets, because fibers differ in their ability to maintain dead air spaces. Other fiber properties are also important considerations in choosing blankets.

Wool has been widely used because of its excellent springiness. Mohair is even fluffier but is more expensive and so is seldom on the blanket market.

Plaid mohair throw blanket.

Wool is the most expensive of the commonly used fibers. Its non-flammability is of value, since many fires are started by people who fall asleep while smoking in bed or by placing a radiator near flammable materials. Its drawback, other than price, are:
(a) It shrinks easily and becomes boardy when shrunk.
(b) It is subject to moth damage and so is usually stored in sealed containers with a sprinkling of moth crystals.

100% Yak wool blanket.

Cotton and rayon are low in cost but lack the resiliency necessary to keep a blanket fluffy.

100% Rayon bedding.

Cotton, however, is very washable and is a good choice if frequent washing or sterilization is necessary.

100% Cotton baby bedding set.

Acrylics and mod-acrylics excel in softness, light weight, and bulk.

100% Acrylic blanket.

They are washable and not subject to moth damage. The acrylics, however, burn like cotton. Mod-acrylics melt but do not burn.

100% Mod-acrylic blankets.

Blends containing wool are just as subject to moth damage as are 100% wool blankets.

Italian made wool blend blanket.

Olefins are the lightest weight and low in cost.

100% Olefin fabric comfy faux throw blanket.

Polyesters are used in the skinny blankets.

100% Polyester blanket.


Blanket Construction
The warp yarn twist is usually low in blanket fabrics and some of the nap comes from warp yarn, Below is a chart for a typical Orlon blanket construction.

Type 39 Orlon Construction.

The Type 39 Orlon filling yarn is a blend of staple lengths running from 1.25 to 3 inches and with deniers of 2 to 6.

A double woven blanket construction is shown in the figure below.

Double-faced blanket construction.

Single-cloth construction in either a plain or twill weave is shown in the figure below.

Blanket of single-cloth construction in twill weave.

As mentioned previously, yarns in highly napped fabrics may be made with cotton core for strength.


Thermal Blankets
Hospitals require blankets the can be sterilized, but do not shrink, nor lose its loftiness. The first development, called the thermal blanket, was made of low-twist plied cotton yarns in a fancy leno weave, resulting in a fabric with waffle-like depressions and ridges. When used with a sheet above and below the blanket, it held in sufficient body heat for warmth.

Hospital thermal blankets.

As thermal blankets were adapted for home use other weaves and fibers were used. To improve their appearance and warmth, some were napped.

Thermal blanket adapted for home use.


Care
Most blankets can be washed. Wool blankets must be washed in warm water with as little agitation as possible to prevent shrinkage.

Electric blankets should not be dry-cleaned because it can cause damage to the insulation of the wiring.

Machine washable, detachable controllers, electric blanket.

In order to reduce the frequency with which a blanket must be cleaned, protect it by turning down a length of the end of the sheet over the upper part of the blanket.

Bedding turned to protect upper part of blanket.


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