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Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Silk weaving - Part 2

The finer threads are put together into reels.
The brown ball is from the Mopani worm, the white is raw and spun silkworm wool.
These balls are taken and dyed into the most wonderful colors. Gaelyn bought some and I am surious to see that she is going to knit with it, so get on with it please my friend. :)
Patterns for the weaving are obtained from various staff members, each putting forward their ideas and it being discussed. There are various looms in the one room, some with a large single piece being woven....
...and yet other which have multiple pieces on it.
Various colors are incorporated and as you can see, it is all done by hand.
I love the knobby thread of this silk and it makes such a wonderful, rich texture for weaving and knitting being soft and warm too.
Some of the finished products are this scatter cusions on display all with true African designs on them.
Fine silk woven in places like China are for sale there too like these beautiful scarves.
Going through the process with the lady escorting me was extremely intersting and I would like to thank her for the time she took in explaining it all.
Tucked away, this old sewing machine was on display but not for sale. What a wonderful old piece. I am sure that even after all these years it still works which is more than we can say for all our modern equipment.....

28 comments:

Philip said...

Mopani worms :) please tell me you don't eat them as well YUK !! the closest I come to sewing is putting a button back on my shirt :) Great post Joan the colours are incredible !!

Firefly said...

I would love toget my hands on a mopani work silk item, doesn't matter how small. Just for the uniqueness of it.

Gaelyn said...

Africa silks was a great place to tour with you. It's almost getting warm enough to wear my beautiful blouses. Thank you for my birthday present.

I've looked at the silk I bought but haven't even had time to think about what to knit with it. I love the purple and turquoise colors. Maybe it will just sit in a basket for a while looking pretty. ;-)

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I just love that knobbly effect, I always think of silk being smooth. I am fascinated by the mopani silk. If I ever get back to Africa I will look out for it. Diane

Diane AZ said...

I love the colors and textures of the threads. The old sewing machine is charming. I have an old Singer Featherweight from the 1940's that I like using more than my modern machine.

Becky and Gary said...

Another extreemly interesting post Joan.To think it's all done by hand is unbelievable. Such talent.
B.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! They are a delicacy Philip and a billion dollar export business so if I was trying to impress you, I would say yes, I enjoy them as much as caviar. :) The truth of the matter is I would rather eat leaves!! LOL!! No creepy crawlies for me thanks.

My son was always coming home from school with buttons missing from his shirt so I made him learn how to sew them back on too. Needless to say I always had to wait till he was asleep and redo it. LOL!!

Thanks, it was a wonderful experience to learn about this industry and be allowed to take pictures of it as it is not something which they usually allow.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You are right Jonker, it is something to treasure. Next time I am there I will buy you something and post it to you. Just remind me when you hear of me going in that direction again. It should be round about August or October.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Gaelyn. It is a pleasure and I hope you get as much satisfaction out of wearing it as I did buying it for you. It is really beautiful.

The wool is in wonderful colors and one day you will decide what to knit with yours and show us a picture of it.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I like that knobby effect too Diane. I think a lot of curio shops atound the country get items from Afican Silk for reselling.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Diane. Lets fact it, those old machine were made to last and are much easier to use than these modern ones with all the gadgets.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Becky. I am pleased you enjoyed the post. We have so much talent here in South Africa when it comes to craft work. I wish I could start exporting some of the things I see made here.

Tony nile life said...

It took years for me to even get into writing my story, what i found is this, once you start and you are in mindset . the things will come rolling back, like one one thing will bring to mind another for instance I was writing about my brothers fascination for chickens, and used to watch the hens laying eggs, this brought back to mind the first day we where on the farm when we where told to get up when the cock crowed. the story of that day is quite fascinating as from a child's memory. so if you are going to write your memoirs, don't think about it set yourself a time nothing in the way and just do it . things will fall into place, and you will be surprised at what is in your memory box,

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

That sounds like good advice Tony and I think I will get to it as soon as I have finished my present project as right now I have too many things on the go all at once and not enough hours in my day to complete everything.

Your biography sounds like good reading so I hope you are going to let me know when you finish it.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Joan: It was neat to see it in the final phase. The pillows were so nice.

JM said...

Very nice post, Joan!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I like the finished products too Tom and to think they are all made by hand is wonderful.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Jose.

blog with no name said...

Joan what a neat place to see... I wonder if Gaelyn would knit me some silk shorts? LOL

Rambling Woods said...

I can't wait to see what Gaelyn makes... what an art

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! Well you know the colors she bout and I wonder if you really want shorts in them?

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Me too Michelle. She bought and interesting combination of colors.

Krista said...

How fun... I feel like you're on the Discovery Channel again. ;o)

I love the shot of the sewing machine. Did it have a foot pedal? Old things - machines and tools - have always fascinated me and I love photographing them as well!

Thanks for your recent comments - I'm glad my blog seems to be working for you again. :o)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! I sometimes feel like a teacher Krista ut you know, photographs without all these little bits of interest would just not be the same. I like adding these things to make it better. :)

yes, it did have a foot pedal and I would have loved to have brought it back home with me.

The new pop-up menu has not bombed out once for me Krista. Thanks for changing it for me.

Krista said...

Joan - I really enjoy all of the things you teach us. I think you would make a fantastic teacher; you have such a genuine interest in all of the details you relay to us through your blog.

Your welcome for the comment system change. I am still trying to figure out my comment mojo - I have to find a balance between responding to comments and visiting blogs and being outside taking photos and working them over from RAW format and and and... And then there is real life to contend with!? LOL! Some days balance is the holy grail and I never quite seem to reach it.

Krista said...

Oh my goodness... of course I meant YOU'RE welcome. Wow. Grammar gods strike me down. hehe

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Gosh Krista, I feel bad I did not see this comment before but I have been so busy, I have not had time to check all my previous posts. SO sorry.

That is the one thing I love about blogging, a peerson is not restricted to any one thing or subject as they are on some of the photograhic forms. I myself find SO much of interest in the things around me. I always want to learn about everything and share my bit of knowledge. I guess I should have been a teacher but I would have made a bad one. LOL!!

I think it is from all my years of being a tour guide which makes me want to share everything.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

LOL!! I most of the time do not go back and read what I have typed either and in an e-mail yesterday, I wrote i was goiing to lay with my laptop instead of Play. LOL!! No wonder people think I am weird!! LOL!! LOL!!