AR no.136 | Sumi Ink Tie Skirt
AR no.136 | Sumi Ink Tie Skirt
A long, voluminous sumi ink matte silk skirt built for moving, traveling, exploring in…
Built entirely by hand from thread to textile to garment in my London garden studio, this skirt is handwoven, hand stitched, one of a kind, signed and numbered.
To make this piece, I first begin with making the textile, which is the process of spinning the fiber, then to preparing it for my loom, weaving it line by line into a textile. After listening to the material and finding what it wants, I then carve it into a one-off full skirt.
The yarn for this piece is from sumi ink-dyed matte silk. This unusual yarn was handspun and dyed for me in Japan, arriving to my studio in the form of a cone, where I wind and braid it into a warp. I love working with this material as it has character, volume, and depth. It is like weaving with udon noodle-shaped thread — quite strong, flattened, and wide, giving a basket-weave appearance to the woven surface. Each flattened silk thread is actually comprised of about a dozen tiny silk threads. They are flattened and pressed together using a viscose coating that washes away once the woven textile is introduced to water. The textile will grow softer and softer over time, resembling linen perhaps more than silk to the touch and to the eye. The textile’s color is dyed using a sumi ink wash, resulting in a charcoal-grey-blue, varying in shade depending on the light. When wearing it outside, darker bands of grey next to deeper bands of blue become apparent. Whilst weaving this material, I let the textile breathe and introduce itself to me as I work.
On the skirt’s selvedge edges, which can be seen on the drawstring waistband and bottom hem, there is a subtle shift in colour, from charcoal grey to a faded grey. I highlight the selvedge on a handwoven textile wherever possible on a piece, as this edge is evidence of the hand. It serves as a recording of pace, time, and even temperament during the time the textile was made. The skirt is lined halfway in navy silk, with the remaining half free. I feel it keeps the skirt cooler and provides a further sculptural feeling of weightlessness. The skirt has a drawstring tie made from corresponding matte silk, front pleats to create volume, back darts to allow smoothness, and two concealed side welt pockets.
Dimensions & Additional Information:
Women’s Coat (although could be unisex)
Skirt length, from top of waistband to bottom hem: 85 CM / 33.5 IN
Skirt width, circumference (at its widest; drawstring will make smaller): 96 CM / 38 IN
Skirt width, hip to hip at the waistband (at its widest; drawstring will make smaller): 48 CM / 19 IN
To clean, dry clean when needed or hand wash in luke warm water using delicate soap. Rinse and roll access water; lay flat to dry. This piece loves to be steamed or ironed, or you can leave it to naturally crinkle as you travel and wear.
Please feel free to write with any additional questions.
This piece is one of a kind, comes signed and wrapped in an archival box with special packaging. International tracked shipping included.