The GLOOM project, in collaboration with Blue Print Amsterdam, is the first project under Soetekouw’s label YMK handmade exclusives,
GLOOM is a complete start to finish crafts project: from waste wool to tapestry.
The waste wool from the ‘Friesche melkschaap’ (Frisian Dutch dairy sheep) is used as material, in combination with animal-friendly silk. This is a silk where the silkworm can grow completely into a butterfly, and find its way out through a small incision in the cocoon.
The coats of 5 Frisian dairy sheep are first washed by hand, and then carded (this is the loosening of the locks). After this it is spun into yarn, then soaked at least 2 nights in green soap, then dyed with natural indigo, the wool was dipped 5 times in indigo, the silk 8 times. Finally, with a part of the threads, the warp is set up and weaving begins.
The tapestry is the first project of the collaboration between Soetekouw and Blue Print Amsterdam. Celia Geraedts, founder of Blue Print Amsterdam is a specialist when it comes to natural dyeing with Indigo. In Japan Celia immersed herself in the magic of indigo by learning from an indigo master. The magic of the colour indigo grabbed her, and especially the stories and characteristics and history that indigo blue comes with.
Fascinated by the resonant indigo blue, Celia dived deeper and deeper into the art of dying with this natural dye. Soetekouw’s beautifully hand-spun yarns are layered over layer, repeatedly dipped in the dye bath, and thouroughly rinsed after the last dip. After rinsing, all the yarns are put in a vinegar after-treatment bath which, as it were, “encapsulates” the beautiful deep indigo blue colour.
The many hours spent on creating this tapestry of wool and silk, a work still in progress, definitely also have a meditative quality about them:
Washing the wool: 21h
Carding the wool: 54 hours
Spinning of the wool: 75 hours
Spinning of the silk: 13h
Dyeing the wool: 34 hours (so far)
Dyeing the silk: 15 hours (so far)
Weaving: work in progress