What does “a concern for the environment and having a smaller footprint on the earth” mean in terms of acceptable materials to meet the conference theme “Treadle Lightly”. We have been asked if weaving with old video tape is acceptable? What about tencel and rayon or blends? Does it have to be all ‘natural’ fibers? On a scale of 1 to 10, what is more acceptable and what less?
Ahhh, another slippery slope! Is machine knit still considered hand-made? Is a computerized loom less ‘environmentally friendly’ than it’s counterparts? Does your spun yarn have less of a carbon footprint if you used a Lendrum? Are you treadling lighter with bamboo yarn from China vs rayon from Canada? Did hundreds of little silk worms really have to die just so you could have a scarf???
We feel the theme of ‘Treadle Lightly” should give recognition for efforts to achieve this, at whatever level the artist chooses to participate; recycling, buying local, using natural materials or ones that are processed without the use of harmful chemicals. All of these should be encouraged while not excluding any artist who has taken the time and effort to create something by hand. That, in itself, is reflective of our theme!
We realize the cost, availability and the requirements of a particular design all play a part in the choice of materials. So, we encourage entrants to also be aware of what their fibre sources and processes are and to try in whatever way they can to “Treadle Lightly”.
Finally, in both the Open show and the Juried show we included a separate category for articles made from recycled materials.