Thursday 29 July 2010

"Nepalese Textiles" Book Review

Another book that is more than worthy of a review within Sorazora's blog is a hefty reference book titled NEPALESE TEXTILES. It was written by Susi Dunsmore and is an in-depth look at Nepal's history of fabrics, variety of raw materials used today and mainly an examination on how the textiles are made and used.

Susi Dunsmore has written this book in the hope that the remote areas of Nepal gain recognition for their beautiful and unusual textiles. Her book does great justice to the Nepalese craft of textiles through detailed accounts and an abundance of beautiful photos. Particular chapters of personal interest cover subjects ranging from Nepal's long history of dyes and dyeing techniques to harvesting raw Girardinia diversifolia (Himalayan Giant Nettle). This book also illustrates the different techniques that are unique to specific regions or ethnic groups with methods and technology being passed down from generation to generation.

NEPALESE TEXTILES  is an ideal reference book for anyone with an interest in textile production, particularly those who hold a high regard for material products that are entirely suited to sustaining the environment. Until the 1950's, the kingdom of Nepal had little contact with the outside world resulting in techniques that have existed for over a thousand years.

Susi Dunsmore has travelled into the farthest reaches of Nepal, without such travels and in-depth research this book would not have been possible. Other titles to her name include WEAVING IN NEPAL (1983) and THE NETTLE IN NEPAL (1985).

Author : Susi Dunsmore
ISBN : 0-7141-2510-5
Published : British Museum Press

Wednesday 28 July 2010

Fun at WOMAD 2010

WOMAD needs no introduction as music lovers the world over are familiar with this festival. WOMAD UK was held last weekend in Charlton Park, Wiltshire and was attended by many. WOMAD is also held in Australia, New Zealand, Abu Dhabi, Sicily and Spain.

A nice touch to this festival was the fact that a good friend from Japan (and no stranger to UK festivals) came along. This time Yabu was not working and could actually relax and see as many of the bands as is possible. Pictured above sporting a pair of Sorazora LovePeasy Pants, Yabu is usually working on a stall through the UK season. Having just one festival for purely fun, he chose the right festival.

WOMAD stands for World of Music, Arts & Dance and is truly a mix of talent from across the globe. It is described as one of the most unique festivals of the UK season providing audiences with a weekend of discovery. With 70 artists from 30 countries on 9 stages it is impossible to see everything and a little planning is required. It is a camping event, but day tickets can also be purchased.

Not only is there an abundance of stage performances, there are plenty of other activities to keep people busy and entertained. Sorazora once again joined the Global Market where some choice international crafts could be found amongst the usual festival stalls. Taste the World was an area promoting international cuisine and numerous workshops were held. A large children's area provided some relief for parents and by far the weirdest thing was the Human Library. This library consisted of about 25 people each with their own specialist subjects. For a small fee, these people could be borrowed for either questioning or just to listen to their lectures! I'm not sure if there was a late return fee!!

Rolf Harris is still pulling in the crowd. I am sure that his appearance attracted the largest crowd at the Siam Tent. It was hard work fighting my way close enough to the stage to take some photos. My favourite band had to be Hanggai (The Mongolian grasslands' answer to The Pogues). This Chinese six-piece has taken old folk songs of the Mongolian grasslands and reinterpreted them with more than a hint of rock & punk! A must see!!

Sadly we will have to wait another year before our return to WOMAD, but we are already looking forward to this festival as it has easily taken the top spot in our list of favourite UK (if not world) festivals. If you love music and are not afraid to listen to something new, WOMAD is for you. If you have kids, take them along as there is so much for the whole family.

Kent County Show 2010

It feels like such a long time has passed since our appearance at the Kent County Show two weeks ago. Being a county show, it was quite a large affair with many attractions and lots of entertainment. On the whole the weather was kind, a few of the lighter stalls had issues with the winds at the beginning of the event, but the wind and rain kept away for the Saturday and Sunday.

It was our second time to be part of the EcoVillage and the staff were as friendly and helpful as ever. Close to the EcoVillage site was the woodland area where we were delighted to find an old friend from a previous festival. The woodland area was filled with wood craftsmen and blacksmiths demonstrating their skills and selling their wares.

It was not all agriculture, as a large collection of vintage cars and motorcycles could be found and each day we were honoured by a spitfire looping the loop for the crowd. There was even a motorcycle looping the wall of death!

If you ever fancy a family day out with the kids and have never been to a county show, I would strongly recommend Kent County Show. It has plenty for everyone. We look forward to next year's!

Tuesday 20 July 2010

WOMAD 2010

Tomorrow we will head to Wiltshire and set up our stall for what will be our biggest weekend of the year. WOMAD festival is here in the UK again and the line-up is looking good, let's hope the weather will be kind.

"I challenge anyone to come to WOMAD festival and not be really excited or inspired by at least one thing" Peter Gabriel.

Sorazora looks forward to meeting you there!

Tuesday 13 July 2010

"Natural Dyeing" Book Review

With a passion for natural fibre fabrics and natural dyeing, we feel there are plenty of books worth reading. From time to time we intend to upload a book review onto our blog.

To start off our book reviews, we have chosen a beautifully illustrated book that explains in simple step-by-step sequences various techniques. It is an informative compilation of different dyestuffs that demonstrate how to easily make your own dye baths.

First published in 2007, Jackie Crook's Natural Dyeing first explains the basics of dyeing, equipment needed, preparation and quantities of mordant needed. This book comes highly recommended by Sorazora to anyone who is interested in experimenting at home with natural dyes. Natural dyeing is not an exact science and results can vary depending on several factors, but a lot of simple errors can be avoided by following any of the featured projects in this book.

Its simple layout, instructions and photographs teach you the easy way to create a spectrum of gorgeous colours with the ancient art of dyeing. With 30 projects listed with dyestuffs ranging from common onion skins to the more exotic lac, you'll be inspired to produce a vast range of hues. 

Title : Natural Dyeing
Author : Jackie Crook
Publisher : Lark Books
ISBN 13:978-1-60059-222-5 

Monday 12 July 2010

The Cloth Shop

Last Friday saw my first visit to Portobello Road's The Cloth Shop.
Sam Harley and partner Alex Adams have been running their shop in North West London for over 17 years and have built up quite a reputation among film producers for costume material, interior designers as well as creative members of the public.

We had the pleasure of a chance meeting with Sam and Alex whilst we were trading at Brighton West Pier Market the weekend before. With a passion for fabric, their shop is an Aladdin's cave of cloth from various countries including Sweden, India, Scotland and Wales. Alongside a huge collection of linen, you will also find a great selection of cotton, wool, cashmere, velvet and silk.

Sam's love affair with Indian cloth and Alex's interest in antique fabric add a fascinating dimension to their choice of stock. If they don't stock what you are looking for, the chances are that they will be able to point you in the right direction. The Cloth Shop comes highly recommended by Sorazora for anyone who has an interest in or requirement for unusual, antique or natural fabrics. 

“The shop is like an extension of our homes”, says Sam, “It's where we share our taste and interest in fabric and cloth with customers, who come back time and time again.”

Thursday 8 July 2010

Kent County Show

Once again Sorazora will be exhibiting through EcoVillage at the Kent County Show.

The Kent County Show runs from the 16th to the 18th of July. Amoungst the varied attractions at the show there will be demonstrations throughout Friday including hurdle making, stick making, chair making, clog making,

rug making and basket weaving. Over the three days there will be live music on the bandstand which include a Caribbean Steel Band.

For those who didn't make it down to the South Of England Show, EcoVillage gives Green and Ethical organisations a distinct area to exhibit to huge audiences at big events.  Being a part of EcoVillage enables exhibitors to engage with a wide range of people, and educate them about their products and services - while also broadening people’s awareness of the importance of building a sustainable future together.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Natural Dyed Hemp Shawl

Today's new product upload is this beautiful shawl. To view more info and photos of this product, click here!

Nice & smoothe... 

Feel the nature from our Hemp cloth that breathes well. 

This shawl is made from the hemp and cotton blended fabric that we produced from yarn dying this year, 2010. Our fabulous fabric is manufactured by handloom in Nepal. All colours are, of course, natural dyes.

The more you use it, the softer it will feel! Although it was designed as a shawl, 
it's big enough to use as a wrap or cover and could even be used as a curtain.