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Fibre Art

Felting

Felt is a non woven woollen fabric which is believed to the most ancient manmade textile. In fact archaeologists confirmed that felt was created as far back as in the Bronze Age. Nomads in Central Asia then found that felt could protect them from elements and it was light to carry around when they travelled great distances on horseback. Moreover the essential material used in felt i.e. wool from sheep was easily available. A flock of sheep ensured a “renewable” and “sustainable” supply of wool for tents and clothing without killing the animal.
 
To turn loose wool fibre into felt, one only needs to agitate the wool fibres using warm soapy water. During the felting process, individual strands of wool are rubbed and rolled against one and other, the tiny scales along adjacent hairs lock together. The mass of wool gradually shrinks into one solid matter piece of fabric.
 
In the 1960s, a modern technique called “Nuno Felt” was developed. This technique enables loosely woven or knitted fabrics for example silk or cotton gauze to be incorporated with wool fibre. It will produce a light and floaty material. Felted items made this way can be used in milder weather conditions and fit more comfortable with today’s urban life style.

Dyeing

I believe the philosophy of integrating my work with Mother Nature and being ecological accountable – this is a fundamental part of my pursuit. I am always amazed by what nature has bestowed upon us. One can’t imagine the colours a berry, leave, flower, bark, fungi, lichen or root can generate. Back up with science, modern master natural dyers reinvent and research on ancient dyeing recipes and techniques, more predictable and colour fast colours are demysterfied. A very good example is the 100% natural indigo vat I use, no harsh chemicals are used and it is so environmentally friendly that the left over vat can be poured in the garden.

In the past decade, a new natural dye approach has started. Some dyers put dyeable plants on pretreated fabrics and directly print the image of the dyeable plants on the fabrics. This is called eco print. This technique produces one of a kind print that imparts a mesmerising print on natural fabrics.

As most natural plants are not always easily accessible in Hong Kong, I adapt my practice to use dried dyeable herbal medicine in dyeing. These duo purpose herbs have been around for thousands of years and it is a pity that we lose this ancient wisdom in this modern world where speed takes precedence.

Decorative Art

This set of interior decorative work was custom made for Chi Spa of Shangri-la Hotel. Using predominately warm colours and rich texture, these handmade felt pieces create a cozy and calming setting in each spa room for clients to enjoy their treatments.

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