Sarah writes "For years I have been thinking about making a scarf inspired by a trip I took to the Silk Road in China, and the weavers I met there. When I discovered GIST's camel/silk yarn, I knew it would be perfect for this scarf. The finished result is the softest most elegant item I have ever woven."
“Now we go see the weavers,” Muhammad told me as we got out of the dust-covered van. We had just drove 6 hours through part of the Taklamakan Desert, one of the most remote places on the planet to the oasis of Hotan, an ancient silk road city far away from everywhere. As we walked under the blinding sun a man on a donkey-drawn cart passed by. Tourists in this part of China are a rare sight."
"We entered a large warehouse filled with women weaving colorful wool carpets on the biggest looms I’d ever seen. In the next building a man and woman were weaving with silk on antique looking floor looms. It is here that one of the most guarded secrets in history was leaked to the world. According to legend, once a separate kingdom on the edge of the desert, a prince from Hotan courted and married a Chinese princess in 440 A.D. The princess didn’t want to give up her silk clothes and smuggled out silkworm eggs in her hair.
For years I have been thinking about making a scarf inspired by this trip and the silk road weavers I met."
Sarah Eller is a self-taught weaver with a background in art education. She has taught visual arts in schools in North Carolina and abroad in the U.A.E.
She loves to travel and discover traditional textile practices. In 2018 she completed a month-long backstrap weaving residency in Peru’s sacred valley. She is currently living and traveling North America in a self-renovated vintage RV with her husband and cat.
She loves weaving elegant scarves and ponchos in natural fibers and is not afraid of experimenting with color.