Fabric Creation for Ponchos & Wraps


My process for making my ponchos & wraps is actually very simple, but very time consuming and I love every moment!.....ok, maybe not the constant ironing.  I'm asked all the time how long does it take to create a poncho or wrap and there's no correct answer because of my exclusive techniques used to create my signature designs are individualized to each piece. But in general it can take 2-6 hours to create the fabric piece that will be sewn into a poncho or wrap. Then I get to send it off to my seamstress for the sewing. But in general, here's my process...

  1. I begin with ripping my 45" section off of the rolled bolt.
  2. I wash it and then you guessed it.....iron it. 
  3. I lay it out on my table specially made to create my ponchos.
  4. Now I get to decide on the design concept that I want to create for this art piece.
  5. With the design in mind, it's time to choose and create the dye colors.
  6. Laugh all you want, but this 60 yo takes her bathroom break now because often you can't just "stop" anytime you want while dyeing without messing up your design. 
  7. On to the challenge...creating what's in my head! The amazing part is that because I predominantly use fabric manipulation and object resist techniques that have taken me years to create, what I have designed in my head will NEVER be the result in the silk fabric. The fabric and dyes will always have their own mind and alter the creation immediately to what it wants to do. AND THAT'S the special and amazing part of this artwork that I love creating so much. Once I start it's amazing how 50% of the time what I create isn't anything like what I had in my head and 30% of the time I've changed colors based on the ongoing design creation. 
  8. Some of the designs require me to stop....dry it...iron it...add more  design...dry it...iron it...and it may keep going on this cycle several times until I'm happy with it. Others require me to let the dye sit still for hours. And other designs are wonderfully simple and don't require me to stop at all.
  9. Now to do my final wash it...dry it.....iron it.
  10. Mail it to my seamstress.
  11. Sew my clothing label on it...wash it...dry it.....iron it.
  12. If it gets wrinkle at a show....bring it home and...yeppers....iron it.... (There's a reason I have an expensive iron that automatically raises the heat plate when my hand isn't on it.)