Old World Style at Pike Place Market

There was a time in the not too distant past when all clothing was handmade. Cloth was handwoven, knit or crocheted from handspun thread and yarn, then stitched into garments entirely by hand. Artisans with these valuable skills were esteemed and held positions of economic and political power for centuries until the industrial revolution brought technology allowing for mass production. This lead to a decline in these ancient arts, which today are considered leisure crafts and hobbies by many. At the Pike Place Market textile artists are working to keep the age-old traditions of the professional artisan alive.

PPPSheila_2Weaving is the oldest of the textile crafts; samples of cloth woven from flax have been found in Egypt dating back to 5000 BC. Today’s handweavers have a broader variety of fibers available to create their cloth, but the basic concepts of production on the loom have not changed much since those ancient times.

Pike Place Market master crafter Sheila Mead has been weaving for 45 years. She studied Textiles at the University of Michigan and has been a Market vendor since 1989. Her scarves and shawls are created using cotton and silk chenille yarns in color palettes inspired by art, architecture and nature from a lifetime of traveling. Sheila tells a story with each piece, of a painting by Gustav Klimt or Emily Carr, a view of the sea, a terraced garden or a rolling landscape

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Each is a unique work of wearable art created on a handloom that takes up most of her living room, Sheila says, “It’s not just a job, it’s my life!”

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Visit Sheila’s website http://www.gypsywingstextiles.com to see more examples of her beautiful work.

Early examples of knitted fabrics date back to the 1100’s, when only one single type of stitch was used, knitted on several needles “in the round” to a create tube of finished fabric. Knitting is now the second most popular needlecraft hobby in America, and today’s knitters create intricate lace, textured cable stitches and colorwork pattern techniques which are the result of generations of shared knowledge from artisans around the world.

PPPAnn_2Ann Dunlap Brown has been knitting since she was a teenager, when her innate sense of color drew her to the craft which she studied in college,earning her Masters Degree in Textiles at Iowa State before pursuing her career as an independent fiber artist. “I love the challenge of coming up with something new and different” she says. Ann’s distinctive designs are inspired by the materials she uses, combining luxury yarns, ribbons and lace in unexpected combinations of color and texture.

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Her unique accessories must be seen in person to be fully appreciated. Ann’s work can be found on display at the Joe Desimone Bridge Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

People have worn hats throughout history. A functional accessory intended to provide warmth and protection from the elements, and in the past hats were also worn to indicate rank or social status. The Milliner is a professional artisan who elevates hatmaking to an art form which allows the wearer to express his or her individual style and fashion sense while enhancing natural features.

PPPGoldie_1Goldie Goldenberg has been making hats since 1992. The daughter of a professional seamstress, Goldie learned to sew when she was seven years old. She chose to focus on creating headwear when she realized that because they require so much less fabric than other garments, hats allowed her to afford using higher quality fabrics like velvets, rare silks and fine woolens. Goldie designs hats for both men and women, traveling the country to source fabrics and trim, she finds most of her inspiration in the characters she meets. Visiting New Orleans yearly, her designs reflect the colorful and dynamic culture of her favorite city. goldie

Goldie says, “It’s my job to make you look good!” and shares many wonderful photos of her customers wearing her designs on her FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/fb.Lidwear

Blog Post by:
Laura Killoran
Croshay Design
Follow Laura on Twitter @croshay

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From Our Hands to Yours on Valentine’s Day

As Valentines Day quickly approaches we all scramble to find just the right gift to give. We sometimes agonize over it wondering if we should or should not give a gift or flowers or a card. I always try to find something that is special and I always buy local so with that in mind I have put together a few suggestion of some amazing local artisans. The nice thing is you can get all of this at the Pike Place Market along with some beautiful flowers.  This is just a small sample of some of the most amazing gifts you can find from over 250 local artisans at the Pike Place Market .  You can also find suggestion on the Pike Place Market Pinterest page http://pinterest.com/pikeplacemarket/  .  The Pike Place Market has everything you need so come shop local.

From Our Hands to Yours

 

 

by: Kristeena Sabando ~ Sabando Design

Pike Place Producers

Fashion at the market

As a new writer for this blog I will introduce myself to you.  I am Kim and I sell my fashion line, Im Strang, on the craftline at Pike Place market.  I am a knitter, using manual vintage knitting machines mostly, and sell a mixture of socks and accessories to a full line of sweaters, tops and dresses.

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You may have seen my seamed back socks waving in the air on my quite obvious, many questions asked about, sock mannaquin legs.  That’s how people remember my booth.  Upside down legs.  They prompt more bad jokes and Christmas story references than I ever thought possible but hey, they are eye catching and draw attention to my table!

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There are a good few of us selling accessories and garments at the market.  The eco friendly, upcycling designers reconstruct old cashmere sweaters and t-shirts into totally new garments.  The fiber minded of us weaving, spinning, knitting and crocheting.  Each of our four feet booths offer handmade, high end fashion for many different tastes and styles.  It’s boutique shopping straight from the artist.  Just look for the legs and come say hi.

– Kim Strang

Im Strang