Monday, 28 September 2009

Autumn Break 29 Sept - 31 Oct

Just to let you all know that we will be unable to process any orders made between the 29th of September and the 31st of October. We will be attending three festivals in Japan. I will endeavour to upload photos and information regarding those festivals and share our experiences.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your understanding.
On our return we will re-open the store and start uploading winter items.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

OUT OF THE ORDINARY 2009

This year was our first experience of OOTO Festival. The weather was perfect and we didn't see any rain from the moment we arrived 2:00pm Thursday until we left site Monday afternoon.
It was the most relaxing festival we have been to in the UK and one that we hope to attend next year. I am not sure how many people came, but reports ranged between 1500 to 2000 people. The site could have easily held double that number, but the eco-toilets would have shown signs of strain.

It was a good opportunity to meet some familiar faces and also get to know many new faces. Nobu and his crew of Takoyaki and Yakisoba master chefs were a welcome site for us as we haven't had the opportunity to taste traditional Japanese Yakisoba (fried noodles) for quite some time. We hope to meet them again soon.

Our neighbour, Mark, was an expert on wood carving and a great help for anyone who needs practical advice on which woods suit which jobs. He certainly inspired me to use wood a little more for creative projects. The neighbours to our other side (sorry no photograph!) were three ladies who knew how to make a cake. They had so many flavoured cakes ranging from the traditional to more unusual (i.e. Chilli Chocolate Sponge and Chocolate & Aubergine Sponge!)
I think it is safe to say that all who attended the event had a great time and were well entertained by the interesting range of activities on offer. Hope to see you all there next year.


Tuesday, 15 September 2009

OUT OF THE ORDINARY FESTIVAL 2009

Out Of The Ordinary Festival will be held this coming weekend at Knockhatch Farm, about 15 miles from Brighton. To view the festivals website for further information, click HERE.

It will be 3 days of family entertainment with a truely eco-friendly theme. All power required for the festival will be either wind, solar or pure plant oil powered. I hope the solar power will be more relied on than the wind. Even the compost toilets have the benefit of using no water or chemicals and a strict zero waste policy will be in force. This festival looks to be one that is attended by like minded festival customers, unlike other events where claims of eco-friendly are made (but this reflects on the organisers and not the punters!)

As a natural fibre, natural dyed clothing and accessories shop, Sorazora is looking forward to this one!


Monday, 14 September 2009

Mayor's Thames Festival

The Thames Festival drew to a close at 10pm Sunday 13th after an impressive firework display on the river. It was a long weekend for us as we had a very early start on the Saturday morning to get ready and a late finish on the Sunday. The location was different from any other we had experienced, not only was the London Eye within a stones throw, but also a nice view of Big Ben (Westminster Clock Tower) was a nice touch.

We met many interesting people from various countries and made some new friends within the traders' community. We would like to say a special thank you to Deniz, a customer who kindly agreed to having her photo taken for this blog, pictured below.

Two more new friends who must have a mention are the illustrators Kazuko Morishita (Japan) and Elli Chortara (Greece). They also opened a stall at the festival and each have their own websites. We wish them all the best and hope to see them at another festival in the future.



On a final note, If any of our customers who visited us at the Thames Festival have been unable to find certain items online, please do contact us and let us know. The majority of what we display at festivals is a permanent part of our online store, but there will always be a few items (particularly one-off items) that have not been uploaded.



Wednesday, 9 September 2009

MAYORS THAMES FESTIVAL


Just to let you know that our stall can be found on the Jubilee Lawn in front of The London Eye for this year's Thames Festival. We will both be there all weekend and look forward to opening our stall at such a central London location. Let's hope the weather stays nice for all involved in the festival and those who come to make this one of London's largest events.

Natural clothing, bags and so on...

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Fenn Creek Chillis


Thanks to my friends, Paul & Nick, I had a chance to see their chilli products at the first Chilli Fiesta & Chilli Cook Off held at The Chilli Company in Suffolk on Sat 5th & Sun 6th September.
Not only was this the first event of its kind to be held at the Suffolk chilli farm it was also the first time for the "Naga" boys at Fenn Creek Chillis to sell there wears.
Paul & Nick had a great success, not only in selling chilli plants, but also in tricking me into eating a Trinidad Scorpion chilli.


BATIK


Batik is something that we are very new to doing at Sorazora.
The name batik comes from the method (originally used in Java) of producing coloured designs on textiles by dyeing them, having first applied wax to the parts to be left undyed. This process can also be refered to as wax-resist dyeing.

I have been using only beeswax whereas many use a blend of beeswax and paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is fairly brittle and produces a lot of crackle. This crackle, either intentional or not, can be reduced by adding the much softer and more pliable beeswax.

There are a few methods for removing the wax after the dyeing process. Because of the nature of natural dyes, I avoid using hot water. I have been ironing out the wax. This is a traditional method of wax removal. The fabric is sandwiched between layers of absorbent paper and the heat is applied by iron to melt out the wax. It is difficult to remove 100% of the wax out and a residue is left behind.

I have found that the best results using natural dyes for batik are the dyes that can be used in a cold/warm dyebath. A hot dyebath would melt the wax on contact.

Natural clothing, bags and so on...



NATURAL DYED SILK SHAWLS


Our continuous search for new colours has resulted in three new shades, each made of blends using indigo. Blackberry soon became a favourite as it is a relatively strong colour and fairly similar to that of "Lac". Lac is a resin that is secreted by an insect (Laccifer Lacca) on the branches of ficus trees in India and surrounding parts of Asia. Blackberry is a bluer purple, which can be obtained from lac if it is over-dyed with indigo. Instead of over-dying, we mixed blackberry and indigo directly in the dyebath to produce a much darker shade than is possible by blackberry alone. The result can be seen in the photo below.

We have been producing light pink from "Majito" (madder root). A very weak solution of this dyestuff was added to a tiny amount of indigo, this resulted in a very soft shade somewhere between beige and kharki.

"Harro" (chebulic myrobolon) is a fruit that we use for yellow / yellow-kharki. The addition of a pinch of indigo brings out the greener side to harro. This experiment was done using left over dyebaths, so the colour pigments left in the bath were mild to say the least.


TOP: Blackberry and Indigo
MIDDLE: Madder Root and Indigo
BOTTOM: Chebulic Myrobolon and Indigo



Our current range of silk shawls are available at our stall at festivals and events. The online collection is limited to just five colours at present as we have those colours dyed in quantity and hold stock. The expanding range of experimental colours sees just a couple of silk shawls for most of the colours and shades. Due to the dyeing facilities available to us outside of our Nepal dying houses, we can only dye a few shawls at a time. With natural dyes, the only way to produce the same colour on different garments is to dye them at the same time. The fact that the dyebath gets weaker after each dyeing allows us to produces different tones of the same colour, but in smaller quantity.

Natural clothing, bags and so on...