Tag Archives: fabric

Bamboo: A Symbol of Longevity

Bamboo: A Symbol of Longevity

A symbol of longevity in China, it is no surprise that Bamboo is a rising star in the sustainability movement. The environmentally-friendly properties of bamboo are endless and manufacturers from all different sectors are starting to take note. A member of the grass family, it is the fastest growing plant on earth. Fast-maturing, it takes only three years to be ready for harvest.

Bamboo adjusts well to extremes in temperatures, such as really hot or cold environments. It is also extremely lightweight and yet durable enough to withstand very heavy loads. One of the primary benefits of bamboo is that it can be grown without pesticides or fungicides as it is extremely resistant to insect and pathogen attacks.

It is becoming more and more common now to see flooring and fabric made out of bamboo material. As a fabric, it is absorbent and resists odours, mould and bacteria. It is also hypo-allergenic, which makes it an ideal fabric for sheets, towels, etc. Fabric and yarn made out of bamboo is extremely soft, easy to work with, machine washable and does not wrinkle.

A wide range of other products can also be made from bamboo. The list includes such items as : fences, bridges, canoes, furniture,chopsticks, musical instruments, fishing rods, paper, knitting needles, window blinds, artwork, toys…and yes, you can even eat it! For culinary purposes, bamboo cutting boards are strong enough to withstand years of use, but soft enough that they cause less damage to knife blades.

Increasingly, those seeking environmentally friendly alternatives are beginning to explore even greater uses for bamboo. Skateboard and snowboard deck manufacturers for instance are beginning to develop new products with bamboo because it is often lighter and stronger than the more traditionally used materials. As well, many paper companies are now incorporating this ancient sustainable option.

Originally Published in: Responsible Suppliers Guide for travel and tourism in Ontario 1st Edition 2008

Textile Addicts Anonymous (For the Love of Fabric!)

Stashing FabricI am addicted to textiles. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am by no means a ‘hoarder’. Towering piles of neatly folded & color coordinated fabrics line the walls, obstacle courses of yarn piles challenge my steps and sari silks drape gracefully over the furniture and windows. There are bowls of overflowing buttons and ribbons on every solid surface, avalanches of thread bobbins each time I open a cupboard…ahhh, but a girl can dream can’t she?

There is a happy synapse reaction that occurs in my brain when I walk into a fabric store. The colours! The textures! The sheer possibilities! I honestly don’t understand why more people don’t break into spontaneous song and dance in the aisles. I think part of my problem (or awesomeness) is that I can look at any piece of fabric and envision it as a finished product of some sort. The inspiration and creative juices that start flowing whilst walking though a Fabricland can be overwhelming. So many pretty fabrics to be made into prettier things! How can I pick just one to take home?! Impossible!

More recently, I have been introduced to knitting. Thankfully, I have not excelled at it as much as other crafts. I say thankfully because I have a hard enough time putting the bright pink, soft, fluffy mohair yarn back on the shelf, as it is. (sigh) If I realistically thought I could make more than my standard floppy hats and matching scarves, I would quickly acquire a mountain of yarn that functioned more as a luxurious napping zone.

I appreciate the work that goes into handmade items. But I take it to the extreme (mostly out of stubbornness, I admit). I’ll sketch out my idea with the written details and then create the pattern, all before I can start sewing. This is where the process gets slowed down and the fabric starts piling up. Of course I can reuse a pattern more than once but thatAll that Beautiful Yarn gets boring quickly. A change in fabric calls for design variations; modifications turn into a whole new finished product. Fortunately, fabric is patient (except for the slippery stuff…organza waits for nobody).

To be fair, I try to use what I have and I go through my bins of textiles when a new project comes to me. It may be an addiction but it is my muse at the same time. And so, I can’t let it get me down. I just have to work with it and work through it.

If you too have an addiction to textiles and are ready to clear them out of your crafting tickle trunk, please forward them to Stephie B. c/o Let It Unravel, P.O. Box…

Stephanie Bergeron is a textile addict, sewing machine user extraordinaire and a master with craft glue. When she isn’t creating she can be found in the Westboro neighbourhood of Ottawa, Ontario where she works as a registered massage therapist at Kneaded Touch. Stephanie is a reiki practitioner and has also received specialized training in prenatal massage, CranioSacral Therapy Levels I & II, SomatoEmotional Release Level I & II and CranioSacral for Pediatrics.  Stephanie has also volunteered and been a part of Ladyfest Ottawa (a woman-organized music and arts festival) for a number of years.