Nelly Rose on Global Artisanship

Nelly Rose is passionate about preserving traditional craft. She’s lived and worked with artisans in Nepal, Indonesia and Japan, learning to create beautiful fabric art and incorporating these skills her own designs. If you want to hear more about Nelly’s work, please listen to her episode of the Clothes & The Rest podcast. Here, however, she talks about some of the most fascinating textile techniques she’s picked up along the way…

“Batik is one of my favourites. It’s amazing. It can be used for tiny intricate details that you would never believe were done with such a tiny tool.

“There are so many different types of weaving. Backstrap weaving is absolutely amazing, and it’s such a female craft. There are a few male weavers, but it’s a very maternal action. It uses hip power and it’s really sacred. It’s connected to so many spiritual and natural forms of power.

“In Indonesia, I worked with Songket weaving, which uses a special type of loom; creating the most intricate, amazing pattern. It’s a form of jacquard weaving. I loved working with Ikat weaving too, but I see it as a digital print everywhere and it’s heartbreaking. Actually, it’s done with two sticks, and strings which are stretched across a loom at floor level. It’s so laborious. I tried it and was absolutely awful; it’s so hard to do!

“I’ve learnt some amazing forms of dying. Dian Pelangi used an amazing method called disperse dying. It’s all about how you knot the fabric. I’d love to learn more about shibori dying and indigo dying in Japan.

“It would be so ignorant to go in and think I could just pick anything up. The people teaching me have been learning their craft for years. Batik was interesting, because I went there and started implementing it with a paint brush instead. We were still using wax, but slightly differently.

“One day I want to write a book, and showcase as many different traditional crafts as possible. There is such an array of techniques and I think they are all fascinating.”

Please visit Nelly’s website for more.

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