Paper and textiles ....... these words don't automatically go together and yet we are seeing more and more sophisticated fabrics being produced using a mixture of fibres, including Hanji (paper), which is producing some stunning fashion designs.
I'm no fashion guru but I know what I like and even though I've been using Hanji for my 3 dimensional craft I was blown away by the beautiful creations I saw recently on the catwalk at the Opening ceremony of the Hanji Festival in Sydney.
Seeing the beautiful outfits being modeled defied everything I've ever thought of as paper. In the past I've purchased a few small pieces of Hanji fabric but what surprised me was the range and colours of fabrics I saw on that night. Some of the clothes had a real silky glow and they looked soft and comfortable whilst others, although they looked a little stiffer and you could definitely tell they'd been made out of paper, they'd been beautifully crafted into wearable, fashionable clothes.
The definition of a textile is 'a flexible material consisting of natural or artificial fibres and they can be either woven, knitted, knotted or felted'.
They come from 4 different sources:
animal - wool, silk,
plant - cotton, flax, jute, bark
mineral - asbestos, glass fibres
synthetic - nylon, polyester and acrylic
Generally the fabrics are woven by interlacing a set of longer threads or 'warps' with shorter crossing threads called 'wefts' and these are done on a loom either by machine and less commonly by hand.
To make Hanji fabrics they interlace any of the animal, plant, mineral or synthetic fibres with hanji fibres to produce a fabric that can display all the qualities of what we know as standard fabrics.
Silk fibres are mixed with Hanji fibres to make soft, shiny fabrics and synthetic fibres are woven with Hanji fibres to make Hanji socks that are elasticated for ease of use.