I was fortunate enough to visit New Zealand earlier this year and was inspired by a piupiu skirt I saw in the Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand).
A piupiu is a skirt-like garment made of flax strands that hang from a waistband. The leaves of the New Zealand flax are first stripped back to the fibre in regular sections, leaving sections of unstripped leaf in between. The loose fibres are then twisted together by a spinning action. These strands are boiled and dried so they whiten and roll into tubes. Then they are dyed black, only the exposed fibre takes the dye, creating a striped black and white effect. Finally, the strands are attached to a woven waistband.
I was also inspired by the fabulous scenery at Doubtful Sound. The photo doesn't do justice to the fantastic greens and the silvery waterfalls.
I made some fabric beads by rolling a triangular piece of fabric around a knitting needle and heating with a heat gun. I used the same technique on large flower shaped sequins and then strung them together:
I made several different sizes of these hanging strands and put them together to make a necklace. I had to insert spacer fabric beads to get them to hang properly.
Any suggestions on the best way to display this are most welcome.
News and progress from the group
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