|Handwoven January/February 2024
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Bast fibers like linen, hemp, and bamboo have been used for thousands of years. Recently, however, they have gained popularity in the weaving world in part due to their eco-friendliness—many bast fibers require fewer resources to produce, and they often come from renewable plant sources. Fabrics woven with bast yarns have a rustic yet refined beauty, and the yarns are known for their strength.
This issue features 11 projects that showcase bast fibers in various ways. In addition to the expected linen towels and curtains, there are surprises such as a hemp runner, a runner woven using a combination of cotton and raffia, pineapple yarn placemats, and baby blankets with hemp and bamboo wefts. The Yarn Lab explores weaving balanced cloth with a new hemp yarn.
Many of the articles in the issue have a reflective aspect. There are pieces on how to continue weaving as you age, the intrinsic value of handmade items, and journaling your weaving and your life. Tom Knisely takes readers on a tour of a production weaver’s studio, and Rebecca Fox invites you to a special island with a unique indigo dye studio.
If bast isn’t yet in your stash, this may be the time to add it! Enjoy this beautiful issue that celebrates the wonder of plant-based bast.
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