Saturday, August 25, 2018

To Be or Not to Be
Annual Review

Marie-Therese Wisniowski


"To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?"
Hamlet Act III Scene 1 by William Shakespeare.

So why am I quoting Shakespeare's famous soliloquy that engages us to consider the struggle between life and death, when you should be expecting an annual review of this blogspot? Well, it is because so many of us bloggers have given up blogging. Why?

How many of the millions upon millions of blogs on Blogger and Wordpress alone are now really active? It is a given that if you have died then your blogspot usually dies with you. However, have people stop blogging as one critic claims because bloggers lose that buzz of excitement and enthusiasm when they start to realize that their hard work is not appreciated, because traffic to their site is low, they have few followers (most are family and friends), making a living from it is almost impossible, and growing an audience is a forlorn hope? I hope not!

Companies like Google still believe that blogging is a useful social and economic activity otherwise they would have pulled out providing this free service. Some pundits claim, that the best way to test your small business idea, is to frame it in a blog, and then monitor its progress. If it takes off (e.g. Alisa Burke) then spin it out as a company, and rake in millions. For every Alisa Burke, there are no doubt millions of unsuccessful versions of her.

Google has admitted to the European Union that they are an advertising company. I claimed this was the case in 2008, and it took Google nearly a decade to catch up with my analysis. Google I really don't have your resources so what happened?

In my early life (prior to the internet), I was a graphic designer working for some of the biggest advertising agencies in Melbourne (Australia). They created advertisements for audiences that were captured by different forms of media (e.g. newspapers, magazines, radio, cinema and television). Google went one step further: they created a successful search engine and destroyed their competition in the process (remember Excite - born in 1993; Yahoo! - born in 1994; WebCrawler – born in 1994; Lycos – born in 1994; Infoseek – born in 1994; AltaVista – born in 1995; Inktomi – born in 1996; Ask Jeeves (now Ask) – born in 1997).

In doing so Google created its own audience and to keep them, it needed interesting and diverse content on the internet in order for it to grow its revenue. How do you create internet content without paying for it yourself? Instead of hiring millions of writers, you provide a free service that allows them to write for you. Obviously your competition can access your content (e.g. DuckDuckGo) as you can access content delivered by other services (e.g. WordPress) but that is a risk you take. As a search engine provider, you now only have to hire fewer people who write algorithms in order to assess the content because in the end that is what will keep you ahead of the search engine pack. Clearly, commercial interest can come into play to decide who stars on the first page, and who is hidden on page 10 after a search engine analysis.

So why do I bother? This blog spot makes me reflect on my own art, the art of others, and provides me with a therapy of sorts. I was determined from the very beginning that its purpose was to inform, aspire and inspire others to get on with their own artwork. At the outset my commitment was simple: I would blog approximately 50 posts a year, including an annual review on the most popular post in a given year within each category.

It began on Thursday the 26th of August 2010, and by the way, I intend to keep on blogging, because this type of art therapy I enjoy! I want to thank Google for providing this service and I hope that Google will not shut down Blogger on commercial grounds, because the internet is now flooded with commercial content, and moreover, with non commercial content owned by commercial interests.

This is my four hundred and second post and for your convenience I have listed below the other annual reviews that span the life of this blog spot.

Where Did The Year Go? (2010/2011)
It's Been An Exciting Year (2011/2012)
Another Cheer - Another Year (2012/2013)
The Year of the Horse (2013/2014)
Cold and Windy - But on the Dawn of Renewal (2014/2015)
A Time To Reflect - A Time To Select (2015/2016)
A Time to Remember (2016/2017)
The Night Too Quickly Passes (2018/2019)

To Be Or Not To Be
The number of categories on this blog spot keeps growing. They are as follows: (i) ArtCloth; (ii) Art Essay; (iii) Art Exhibitions/Installations/Talks; (iv) Artist's Profile; (v) Art Resource; (vi) Art Review; (vii) Book Review; (viii) Fabric Lengths; (ix) Glossaries; (x) Guest Artist; (xi) Guest Editor; (xii) My Students Outputs (Workshops and Master Classes); (xiii) Opinion Pieces; (xiv) Resource Reviews; (xv) Prints On Paper; (xvi) Technical Articles; (xvii) Wearable Art.

Not all of these categories are present in any given year (e.g. Guest Artist, Technical Articles etc did not appear this year). Also judging a post by the one criterion - most amount of visitors - is not necessarily the smartest approach, since the length of stay might mitigate the former statistic. How often have you heard yourself say - oops I really didn't mean to google this hunk of a man when I searched for "loincloth"! Nevertheless, this one statistic makes matters so much easier for me and so it will be used as the final arbitrator!

There was only one post on ArtCloth in 2017/2018 and that was Ode for a Washcloth - The Hymn of a Tiger. I will re-iterate here one passage from the Foreword of the book to give you an inkling of the ArtCloth work it contained.

“Ode for a Washcloth - The Hymn of a Tiger, discusses what influence textiles, that encompasses method, material and tradition, have had on the art scene today, and at the same time it also draws lines from today into textiles of the past ten decades. Our intention has not been to make a chronological presentation of Norwegian Textile Artists history. On the other hand, we have chosen to invite many voices to tell about and so delve into aspects of the textile field."

ArtCloth artist Gitte Magnus working with "I had my own box to sit on".
Photograph Courtesy of Magnus.

Art Essay
There were a large number of posts in this category. They ranged from the Clothes of the Sami to Shishu (Japanese Embroidery). However, the most popular was my Art Essay on Graffiti Versus Post Graffiti Art.

Graffiti Art came of age when artists started reproducing it on cloth and other fine art substrates. I started doing this around 1998 when I was developing not a Graffiti voice but rather a Post-Graffiti voice - hence, my ArtCloth installation "Another Brick". My university students enjoyed the difference between these two voices!

Art Exhibitions
There was only one post published in 2017/2018 in this category and that was Make Lace Not War - Part III. This was the third part of the series and the post focussed on functional items made from lace. Of all of these images, I just loved the lace boots. Highly unpractical but what a hoot waltzing with these boots covering your feet.

Artist: Waltraud Janzen.
Artist's Statement: I am fascinated by the long history of shoes all over the world; their political and social meaning. I decided to create shoes in handmade lace. For this pair of boots I used a thin brass wire in free crochet work. Unwearable as these lace shoes are, they are meant to be a homage to the history of shoes.
Item: Boots.
Description: Pair of boots: Crochet using brass wire.
Size: 240 x 110 x 270 mm.

Artist's Profile
There was only one artist who was profiled in the 2017/2018 season and that was Norma Starszakowna. Generally, the ArtCloth artists I have known, have their artcloth on numerous websites. On the other hand, Norma who is internationally renowned and has had her installations in some of the most highly prestigious exhibition venues, is scarcely visible on the internet. Hence, there is an internet appetite for her work which never seems to be sated. I love her ArtCloth, and I love the texture that she infuses into her work. Let face it, I'm a fan!

Titles from Left to Right: Rice Field; China Sunset; Red Stripe - 1999.
Techniques and Materials: Silk organza, screen-printed with heat-reactive pigment, various print media.
Size: 25 x 360 cm each.

Art Resource
Once a month an Art Resource is published on this blogspot. The Art Resources that are published just after the Annual Review are always the favourites to win, because they normally have a year to gain an audience, whereas the art resource published in the month of the review only has a fortnight. It is not surprising that the two most popular Art Resources this year were Woven Pile Fabrics and Chenille Yarn and Tufted Pile Fabrics and the winner in terms of the most audience views is the former.

Woven pile fabrics.

Art Review
There were few Art Reviews in the 2017/2018 season. Of all the categories, this category had the lowest attendance; why - is anyone's guess. All I can say is that the internet is a strange and unpredictable beast! The most popular in this category was Art Quilts - Part III.

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.

Book Review
There was only one Book Review in 2017/2018 and that was a review I wrote on a book written by my dear and very special ArtCloth friends, Els van Baarle and Cherilyn Martin, whose book is titled "Interpreting Themes in Textile Art" Batsford, London (2017). ISBN: 9781849944366.

I summarised my review using the following words: "This book is special since it gives practical insights into creating complex imagery and texture using a large range of fibre material." Below is an image of each of their artworks. Their artworks are always exceptional.

"EMA", Els van Baarle.
Batik on recycled cotton towels, wood.
Courtesy of the above.

"Pages #1", Cherilyn Martin.
Fused sheets of plastic, with Spunfab, Angelina fibres and oil paint trapped in the layers and with fusible film laminated on the surface.
Courtesy of the above.

Fabric Lengths
There were a dozen posts in 2017/2018 that featured my Fabric Lengths. Art Quill Studio had a stall at the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair in June 2018. We sold lots of handmade scarves, fabric lengths, and fat quarters etc. There will be a post in the not-too-distant future of our experiences at the Fair. It was a lot of hard work explaining to so many about all the work that went into creating these fabric lengths. Sadly I sold some of my favourite works, which I know have found good homes and are making others happy. Thanks for their support! The most popular post in this category was Garden Delights I & II. Fortunately for me, I have used the image below for my business card and so this fat quarter was not for sale!
"Garden Delights I" (detail view of fat quarter).
Technique and Materials: Over-dyed digitally printed fabric, screen-printed employing opaque and metallic pigments on linen.
Size: 50 cm (wide) x 55 cm high.

There was only one Glossary published in 2017/2018 and that was the Glossary of Paper, Photography, Printing, Prints and Publication Terms - Edition 3.5 It contains a large number of definitions.

For example one of the saucy ones is: Abuna-e (Japanese Woodblock Classes of Print): Risque pictures; they came into fashion in the early 1720's after a government crackdown on the more explicit images, shun-ga. They are the closest analogue in Japanese art to the nudes of Western art, and usually capture the subject in a private moment, partially undressed.

Abuna-e for a shunga series, Utamaro.

I hope you enjoy the other definitions!

Guest Editor
There was only one Guest Editor on this blogspot in 2017/2018 and that was Lisa Bendeich of "That Little Art Place" (Singleton, NSW, Australia). She works tirelessly for her community and so it is not surprising for those who know her, that she created her biggest adventure yet, the Art & Craft Expo. It showcased talented artists within her community.

Kids doing an art "shoot out" at the Art & Craft Expo. It was very busy with three sections, and 52 kids all up.

Prints on Paper
Although most of the artwork displayed on this blogspot uses cloth as a medium, there will always be some posts devoted to works on paper because I also love screen printing on paper as an art media. In 2017/2018 there were only three posts devoted to this media. The most popular by a country mile was Contemporary Aboriginal Posters (1984) - (1993).

There is something that is very unique about Aboriginal artworks. Even if they are contemporary in style there is still an undercurrent of a traditional remembrance that has a continuing presence. I just love it!

6th National Aboriginal Art Award (1989).
Image designed by Fiona Foley.
Technique: Off-set print on paper.
Size: 60 x 42 cm.

Resource Review
The idea behind the Resource Review is to introduce you to an institution (e.g. Gallery, Museum or even a street arcade e.g. Hosier Lane in Melbourne) that presents to you artworks and resources that you should engage in if opportunity presents. I love the fact that I am lucky enough that my artwork takes me to some interesting places and that I have the opportunity to immerse and indulge myself to experiencing a visual, oral, aural and tactile environment. Yes, I have experienced at one exhibition where the aroma was a significant feature. However, the carcass of a rotting animal I believe is not a work of art!

It is therefore with great pleasure to re-awaken you to two art resources I have visited and written posts about in 2017/2018 and they were: Nordiska Museet (The Nordic Museum) and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art with the former more popular than the latter.

Simple home-woven dress with silk threads from the beginning of the 1820s - part of The Nordic Museum's collection.

Wearable Art
Wearable Art encompasses such items as scarves, clothes and all items that adorn a body. If it is placed in an art setting such as in a framed work etc., the functionality of the art erodes and so it transforms into Art itself. However, once worn, the act of engagement is eroded because of the presence of the wearer and it becomes wearable art. The two posts vying for the top position were my New ‘Unique State’ Silk ArtCloth Scarves and My New Silk ArtCloth Scarves with the latter having 28 more visitors.

Technique and Media: Dyed, shibori overdyed, discharged, stamped and silk screened employing dyes, discharge media, glazes, transparent, opaque and metallic pigments on silk habotai (full view).
Size: 28.5 (wide) x 142 (length) cm.

I love giving workshops. I just love it when one of my students learns a technique, runs with it, develops their voice using it, and then projects it into their own style. It always amazes me how creative human beings are, seeing a motif, an image, creating an idea using a technique that I introduced them to. This year's workshops were more scarce because of an injury to my hand but nevertheless I managed to give one. In Pursuit of Complex Cloth: Layered Printing Approaches - Workshop Outputs of Pauline Cosgrove
 2017 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program.

This two day workshop was dedicated to exploring and mastering complex relationships on the substrate surface using complex printed layering and overprinting techniques. Using a variety of printing tools, processes and color combinations, participants were introduced to the underlying principles of color, contrast, value, scale and texture. Below is just one of Pauline's outputs.

Value/contrast study employing size, scale, hue and tone.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Japanese Prints (Part I) [1]
Works on Paper

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

For you convenience I have listed the other post in this series below.
Japanese Prints (Part II)
Japanese Prints (Part III)

Introduction [1]
Just over a hundred years after it first reached the West, the so-called Japanese print has become one of the best-known and most popular forms of Japanese Art. The term "Japanese print" is now synonymous with the broadsheet woodblock print, printed in full color, which dates from a time roughly corresponding to the Edo period (1615 - 1868). In Japan such works are referred to as Ukiyo-e ("floating world pictures"). "Ukiyo" being originally a Buddhist word. During the seventeenth century, however, its meaning changed to indicate the "floating world" of city life with its transient pleasures. A seventeenth-century woodblock printed book admirably describes it as:

"Living only for the moment, turning our full attention to the pleasure of the moon, sun, the cherry blossoms and the maple leaves, singing songs, drinking wine, and diverting ourselves just in floating, floating, caring not a whit for the pauperism staring us in the face, refusing to be disheartened., like a gourd floating along with the river current: this is what we call the floating world."

It is this world which Japanese prints most frequently portray.

In 1615, after nearly 200 hundred years of civil war, Japan was unified once more by Tokugawa Ieyasu who, as shogun or military ruler, became the de facto ruler of the country. He established Edo (modern Tokyo) as the center of government, while Kyoto remained the home of the imperial court. It was these two cities, along with Osaka, which became the most thriving urban centres of the Edo period and which housed the main publishing establishments.

The early Edo period also experienced social and economic changes which had far reaching effects on the arts and crafts of the time. Japanese society was divided into three rigid groups, with merchants and artisans at the bottom. This early period also coincided with a time of general material prosperity, and despite their lowly status, the townspeople of the Edo period rose to a new position of prominence.

The merchants used their new-found wealth in the pursuit of leisure activities. In Edo, the Yoshiwara district was set aside expressly for this purpose, with theatres, brothels, tea houses, sake-drinking parlours and eating establishments, as well as shops. They also sought material evidence of their wealth in the form of art objects. Lacking any cultural or stylistic traditions in this field, they were looking for a new form of art with which they could associate and which they could really understand. Ukiyo-e prints, portraying scenes of everyday life in a manner which did not rely wholly on any existing style of painting, developed as one manifestation of bourgeois art to fulfil this need.

Japanese Prints (Part I) [1]

A couple warming themselves by a kotatsu by Katsukawa Terusbige (active from 1715 - 25). Handcolored and inscribed with a poem. In the background of the print is the tokonoma (or display alcove) which reveals the lower part of a painted hanging scroll, a pile of woodblock printed books, a lacquer box and burning incense, while to the left is a painted screen [1].

A fashionable and entertaining guide by Okumura Toshinobu (ca. 1717 - 50). Handcolored and decorated with brass dust. A samurai is being guided by a fashionable beauty, with Mount Fuji in the background [1].

Actor Sodezaki Iseno, as a girl, embraced by actor Ogimo Isaburō, as a samurai (ca. 1726) by Torii Kiyonobu (1664 - 1729). Handcolored and decorated with brass dust [1].

Portrait of actor Sakata Hangorō I playing the role as Yamada Saburo (ca. 1760) by Torii Kiyomitsu (1735 - 85). Printed in two colors and inscribed with a poem. The family crest or mon appears on the costume of the actor for identification. [1].

"Returning sails of town rack" (ca. 1768) by Suzuki Harunobu (1724 - 70). From the series "Eight Views of the Parlour". A tool flapping on a bamboo rack was licked to the billowing sails of a boat returning to harbour [1].

"A pair of lovers reading a letter" (ca. 1768) by Suzuki Harunobu (1724 - 70). The scene probably alludes to the famous letter-reading in the Chushingura ("Tale of the 47 Ronin") drama. The fact that the woman portrayed in the print has her obi or sash tied at the front indicates that she is a courtesan [1].

"Courtesan watching her maids build a snow dog", 1768, by Suzuki Harunobu (1724 - 70). The depiction of snow scenes was a subject favoured by many print designers, including Harunobu. It provided a challenge for the portrayal of areas of white to denote the snow, usually carried out by reserving the paper in its natural "white" color, and supplied some interesting color contrast [1].

Unidentified actors playing a pair of lovers, ca. 1780, by Katsukawa Shunshō (1726 - 92). Two sheets of a triptych.

[1] J. Hutt, Japanese Prints, Studio Editions Ltd, London (1996).

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Art of Zandra Rhodes
Wearable Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

The exuberant sensuality and sexual permissiveness of the late 1960s - when Portabello Road had supplanted Carnaby Street and Kensington became the heart of the fashion revolution - is inculcated in the fashion expanse of Zandra Rhodes.

Portobello Road (1967).
Photograph courtesy of Frank Habricht.

Zandra Rhodes graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1964 – a key moment in the history of fashion. Mary Quant, Sally Tuffin, John Bates and company, created new fashion shoots that stripped away middle class pretentiousness and so created fashion that celebrated the youthful body. After all, the birth control pill was now widely dispensed and so women could reclaim their bodies and their sensualities without human penalty. Fashion was steered toward art and art became wearable.

John Bates (with models) at Jean Varon Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

By 1968 Brigid Keenan wrote in Nova magazine:
”Fashion is experiencing one of its most interesting dilemmas of its history. There is a state of anarchy”.

The “top-down” theory of fashion (haute couture fashion dumbs down into street-wear) was quickly supplanted with a “down-to-up” theory (street-wear informs haute couture). It was the age of “Aquarius” and so the age of dissent - from anti-Vietnam demonstrations in the USA to a series of student occupation protests in France against capitalism, consumerism and traditional institutions, values and order.

The May 1968 Paris student riots. A part of the impact was on fashion.

The youth that embraced “unrest” wore cloths of dissent. Jeans, tea shirts (now called tees), sandals, bandanas and wristbands etc. were commonplace. Some women embraced baldness and some men embraced bum length hair. Nothing was sacred along the sex divide - the uni-sex look had arrived!

In the 1960s manufacturers started to make different styles of jeans to match the 60s fashions which included embroidered jeans, painted jeans, psychedelic jeans etc. These styles were a huge part of the fashion and culture.

Zandra Rhodes
Zandra Rhodes launched her first solo collection in 1969. She had trained as a textile designer. As a fashion designer, she was self-taught. She was driven by her vision that creating a print and garment was a single creative experience and pursuit. She is didactic and so is missionary in her exploration of fashion. She wrote:
”I really want the people who will come to my exhibition to go away understanding how I work. So we will take them through the process of design, of making a silk screen and choosing dye colors, of cutting the garment from the printed fabric, sewing it and then adding all the signature details like slashing, the pinking, the reverse seams”.

Fashion designer Zandra Rhodes opens the Bermondsey Street Festival (2010).

Her two-dimensional designs must come to life in a three-dimensional garment.
“First of all”, she says, “Having drawn the design, I think ‘Do I like the pattern?’ Then, I try the paper on myself and have a look at it on the big scale. I’m thinking of the print making a statement for the garment, rather than the garment just chopping into the print”.

Zandra in the print room (2004).
Courtesy of reference [1].

She has a natural sense of theatre and is courageous and confident enough to display it in her garments. After all in her era, rock and theatre were combined by the likes of David Bowie et al. and yet fashion, art and theatre had found no common ground in fashion except for her work.

”I found out”, she says, ”from my earliest experiments in the world of textile design, that I was like no one else and fitted into nobody else’s shoes. That meant that all along I was the best promoter and advertisement for my cloths. So since I did a new look every six months, I had to change my appearance every six months. I used myself as a canvas with no compromises.”

Zandra and Ben Scholten (head of design) reviewing a newly printed fabric (2004).
Courtesy of reference [1].

Although she travels a good deal to promote her brand, she lives most of the time on the Pacific Ocean in Del Mar, just outside La Jolla California, with her partner of eighteen years, Salah Hassanein, the ex-president of Warner Brothers Theatres.

“If it was not for him”, she says “I would be here in Britain all the time. I am a British designer.”

Zandra Rhodes and Salah Hassanein.

The generation of fashion designers she belongs to, spawned the next generation of designers like Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney.

“The cloths are like your children that you re-discover; they evoke memories as you press them… Some are now 30 years old and half the people who are going to see them didn’t live through these adventures”.

Coat in “Chevron Shawl” print (1970).
Comment[1]: The print “Chevron Shawl” is a stylized fringed shawl on unbleached calico. The edges of the fringe are cut out and stitched around to show the print on either side. The calico is bagged out and quilted. On the body the tasselled fringe drapes downward.

There are plenty of people who are hooked on Zandra Rhodes not because of sentimental memories of an era passed, but rather because of her continual re-affirmation that individuality, creativeness and being oneself is a much truer trajectory in life than mass marketing oneself.

“I have had several tries at the mass market” she admits, “but what I do had to be done well and expensively. I cannot really price my work for the mass market”.

The Art of Zandra Rhodes

Jacket, 1970 style.
Comment[1]: Jacket and skirt in shocking pint silk chiffon printed with “Chevron Shawl" print. When on the body the tasselled feather fringe hangs downwards and moves freely like a real fringe. The print is of a stylized shawl with fringe. The points are trimmed with white feathers and all edges are hand colored.

Dress, 1970.
Comment[1]: Dress in black silk chiffon printed with “Indian Feather Sunspray” print in turquoise, ginger and cobalt blue. The center seam flutes because the seams are on the outside and the scallops of the print have been cut out to form a cascade. The sleeves are made by cutting around the large feather sunsprays. All edges are hand-rolled.

Dress, 1973.
Comment[1]: Dress in white with “Spiral Shell” and “Reverse Lily” prints. It has been cut out along the curve of the “Reverse Lily” print for the yolk seam and around the inside of the shell spirals. This causes the dress to fall in narrow fishtails at the sides and the line of the “Reverse Lily” print supplies the bust detailing.

Dress, 1970.
Comment[1]: Dress in yellow printed with “Indian Feather Sunspray”. The skirt hangs in tiny featherlike fronds because the printed feathers in the sunspray have been cut around. The feather motif is emphasized by the giant ostrich feather hanging from the ethnic inspired velvet bodice. All edges are hand-rolled.

Waistcoat, 1970.
Comment[1]: Waistcoat in “Chevron Shawl” print in cream silk with an ethnic inspired quilted silk yoke. The body is created from two exact repeats of the “Chevron Shawl” print. The “V” shape of the body is formed by the edge of the print and the tasselled fringe is emphasized by the natural brown cock feathers.

Coat, 1971.
Comment[1]: Coat dress is quilted cream satin in “Button Flower” print. The skirt is made from 13 complete circles. Circular skirt with pattern arranged in three rows. The first consisting of one circle, the second of three circles and the third of nine circles.

Kaftan, 1970.
Comment[1]: Short kaftan in white silk chiffon printed with cobalt, ginger and turquoise in “Indian Feather Sunspray”. The edges of this square cut shape are cut out along the lines of the print. The center front fabric at the bust and hem hang down in front of the garment because the edges of the feathers in the print have been cut out. All edges are hand-rolled.

Jacket (front), 1971.

Jacket (back), 1971.
Comment[1]: Jacket in cream and pink in “Spiral Shell” print. The jacket drapes in curves because the underarm seams follow the lines dictated by the print. The base of the jacket is gathered into the contained line of the edge quilting.

[1] G. Monsef, D. Nothdruff and R. de Niet, Zandra Rhodes – A Lifelong Love Affair With Textiles, Zandra Rhodes Publications (2009).

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Finishes - Initial Fabric Cleaning
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

This is the seventy-ninth 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
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
Finishes to Prevent Attack by Insects and Micro-Organisms
Other Finishes
Shrinkage - Part I
Shrinkage - Part II

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.

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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!

Finishes - Initial Fabric Cleaning
Desizing is the process of removing the sizing on the warp yarns. A desizing substance, sulfuric acid or an enzyme, solubilizes the starch, which is then completely removed by washing.

Degumming or boil-off are terms used to describe the desizing of silk. Silk is woven "in the gum" with the sericin forming the protective covering for the silk filaments. Boiling off consists of washing in a caustic solution. Boil-off is also used as a desizing operation for man-made fibers.

Washing removes the sizing, dirt, and oil spots. Kier boiling of cotton in an alkaline solution, sometimes combined with bleaching, is done in a pressure kier, which resembles a large pressure cooker. The boil is done from 2 to 14 hours depending on the type of goods, results desired, and the strength of the alkaline solution. After boiling, cold water is pumped in and the goods are rinsed until cool.

High pressure blow-through kier.

Scouring of wool fabric is necessary to remove warp sizing, oils used in spinning, and dirt or grease acquired in weaving. Heavy and medium weight woollens are washed as a continuous rope of cloth in a continuous piece washer. Light weight fabric and clear finished worsted (those in which the weave shows clearly) are washed full width in a broad washer. These fabrics are liable to crease when washed in rope form.

Singeing is the burning of free projecting fiber ends from the surface of the cloth. These protruding ends cause roughness, dullness, pilling and interfere with finishing. Singeing is the first finishing operation for all smooth finished cotton fabrics and for clear finished wool fabrics. Fabrics containing heat-sensitive fibers such as polyester/cotton blends are often singed after dyeing because the little melted balls on the ends of the fibers may cause unevenness in color. Singeing is usually done by a gas-flame singer. The fabric is first run open over a heated roll to dry it, after which it is run at high speed through a gas flame and into a water bath to extinguish any sparks. The water bath may contain the desizing agent.

When the fabrics are cleaned and ready for further finishing, the order of the application and the kind of finish applied varies with the fiber content of the fabric.

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