How Five | Six Textiles are made
Over the coming weeks, our Kickstarter backers will be seeing some beautiful textiles dropped in their mailboxes. We figured some of you might want to know what it took for these exquisite items to make it to your home.
Five | Six Textiles are the product of a sustainable partnership with artisans in the village of Waraniéné, Côte d’Ivoire. We partner with these skilled artisans to design products that honor their traditional materials and patterns to create pieces of functional art that fit in perfectly with your well-traveled contemporary home.
The process is carefully crafted by hand and designs, based on traditional motifs, are constantly evolving, the same way textiles have been created for centuries.
So, how does a raw piece of cotton become your favorite new pillow?
It all starts with the cotton. Cotton is grown locally, on farms in Northern Côte d’Ivoire. Once harvested, the raw cotton is sent to a central processing facility where it is machine spun. The collective purchases the spun cotton in either natural white or a dark indigo blue, called blue marine”.
Dyeing to get the color right. When the collective’s weavers thread their loom, they already have a pattern and silhouette in mind. If further dyeing is required, the natural cotton thread is dyed in vat dyes. The thread is soaked for a period of time corresponding to the desired hue, then washed, and hung to dry.
Weaving the cotton. The warp - vertical - thread is aligned on the loom while the weft - horizontal - is threaded onto a spindle and attached to the shuttle. The pattern is created by threading reeds attached to small beams which are cranked into position by foot pedals and by hand. The shuttle moves through the layers of warp and secured into place. The pattern is stitched into the warp. This process quickly becomes second nature to the weaver, and the speed and accuracy with which they create these strips is hypnotizing.
Stitching it all together. The collective’s tailor manually stitches the strips together. Their ability to align multiple strips with such accuracy is impeccable. The strips are zigzagged stitched together by a sewing machine and the ends of the strips are finished with a single stitch, leaving the natural cut edge visible.
Watching the production of these textiles illuminates the attention to detail the artisans have for their craft. No two textiles are exactly alike and the slight variations in color recall the individual hand that produced it. We can’t wait to share more designs with you all over the next few weeks!