WORKSHOP The Silk Way - Cocoon to Thread

by - Monday, April 15, 2013

Registration Opens June 24 at 10am

2013 Maiwa Textile Symposium
Bryan Whitehead

$95 includes 45 lab fee
October 7, 2013 - Class Limit 16
Maiwa East: 1310 Odlum Drive, Vancouver BC

For thousands of years the technique of Asian silk production was the most closely guarded secret in history. The powerful trade empires of the orient and the existence of the silk road itself depended on it.

The fact that the secret has been out for almost fifteen hundred years makes the complex processes from moth to textile no less fascinating.

Bryan is a silk farmer who has been raising silkworms for 15 years in the mountains of Japan. He  does the entire process from breeding moths to using natural dyes to weaving using old Japanaese tools and techniques. Join him for a hands-on demonstration of silk production. Students will experience reeling cocoons, making thread from double cocoons, making silk floss, and spinning the floss into yarns.

Participants will complete the workshop with samples of cocoons, reeled silk, and silk floss. 

Throughout the workshop Bryan will provide background information on the Japanese culture of silk farming and how such factors as technology, climate, tradition, cocoons, and moths all came together to influence the silks that were made.

Instructor Bio

Originally from Vancouver, Bryan Whitehead now lives in a small mountain village in Japan. On the shady side of the slope in a house perched on a ledge reached only by a narrow twisting road, Bryan has a small silk and indigo farm. With traditional tools he reels the silk before spinning and weaving on an antique loom.

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