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Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     
Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

Artist Spotlight - Kayla Powers

This week we are featuring the work of Kayla Powers, a weaver, natural dyer and founder of Salt Textile Studios. This gorgeous top was naturally dyed, handwoven and handsewn by Kayla using the Thick and Thin Cotton Slub Weaving Yarn from our shop and locally sourced natural dyes. 

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     
Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

Naturally Dyed & Handwoven Top  

"Using natural fibers and plants to create cloth feels foundational to the human experience and is a big part of what motivates my work. I am inspired by the utilitarian and ubiquitous nature of woven goods like rugs, blankets, and baskets that are found in so many different forms all over the world. Handwoven clothing felt like a natural extension of my interest in functional weaving so I set out to make a naturally dyed, handwoven, hand sewn top."

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     
Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

Process 

"This Cotton Slub Yarn is perfect for the project. It takes the color beautifully and is just slubby enough to have lots of texture and be a little bit forgiving of any imperfections. Using two cones (about 1500 yards each) I wound a 34” warp at 12 epi. I dyed stripes in the warp to create vertical stripes on my top. This is a method I use in many of my weavings and it just takes a little extra planning. Natural colors just feel so much deeper and more complex than anything synthetically dyed and I especially love how it turned out on this yarn. The variation in saturation is so subtle and beautiful!"

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber

Marigold - Locally Cultivated

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber

Avocado Seed 

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber

Madder Root

"I used three of my favorite dye plants for a springy palette: Marigolds, Avocado Seeds, and Madder Root. I love how they work together, complimenting and balancing each other. I dressed my Finlandia countermarch loom using 4 shafts and did a tabby tie-up. Weaving was such a joy and went by so fast.

After cutting the fabric off I gave it a wash in my sink with warm water and then a tumble dry. I always baby my handwoven fabric! It shrunk quite a bit, which I had expected but I wove more than enough just to be on the safe side. My plan was to use a boxy, handwoven top I bought in Guatemala as a guide. I am not confident with a sewing machine so I chose to hand stitch the whole thing. It turned out so sweet and I think really compliments the woven fabric."

"Because I just folded the fabric in half (rather than cutting two separate pieces), there were just the two side seams, the neck line and the bottom to stitch. I used a simple running stitch and what I believe to be a French Seam (fancy!!). I left the sleeves with the selvedge showing because I like the way it’s a little wavy. I am so happy with the result and have been wearing the top since the moment I finished it. As with all handwoven fabric, I’ll hand wash it and hang it up to dry. 

This was certainly a labor of love and I definitely plan to make more in the future!"

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     
Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

About

Kayla Powers is a weaver and natural dyer living and working in Detroit, Michigan. Her work is focused on local, natural color from plants foraged from around the city.  Preservation of the traditional crafts of weaving and dyeing are at the heart of Kayla’s work. She is inspired by the limitations of a seasonal palette and the utilitarian nature of woven cloth. Kayla began Salt Textile Studios in 2017 as a way to bring other textile artists together. 

To see more of Kayla's work visit the Salt Textile Studios website and Instagram

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber

Natural Dye Kits + Cotton Slub Yarn 

Interested in trying natural dyes? Check out these kits put together by Botanical Colors.

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber

A gorgeous thick and thin cotton slub yarn. Suitable for warp and weft, this wonderful textured yarn is great for throws, baby blankets, absorbent towels, waffle weave...the possibilities are endless. Use it on a rigid heddle, table, or floor loom. 

Grown and spun in the USA. 1,500 yards per lb. Comes on a 1 lb. cone. Recommended sett of 10-16 epi. 

Photo by Kayla Powers. 



April 11, 2019 — Emma Rhodes

Comments

Judy Lanning

Judy Lanning said:

Kayla, I have been looking for a good pattern to make my daughter a garment and your pattern for that top would be ideal. Will you please share it with us. I know that there are other weavers who would enjoy this beautiful pattern as well. Thank you.

GRETCHEN VANDERHEYDEN

GRETCHEN VANDERHEYDEN said:

Sorry – I meant to say Kayla.

GRETCHEN VANDERHEYDEN

GRETCHEN VANDERHEYDEN said:

Hi Sarah – I NEVER sign up for anything but couldn’t resist since the cotton slub blouse is exactly what I’ve been trying to design for myself recently. Thank you! Looking for to seeing your Friday deliveries!

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