Never a Dull Weaver

  Kiran Badola
  Kiran Badola, just one of the many
fascinating weavers to contribute
to Handwoven magazine.  

The last step in putting together an issue of Handwoven is a final proof of the whole magazine (still called a “blueline,” even though the days of blue contact proofs are long gone in our corner of the publishing world). The Contributors page is one of the first that I read, and every issue, I am humbled by the accomplishments of the weavers who contribute to the magazine, not only their achievements as weavers and designers, but in writing, teaching, running successful businesses, and bringing their passion to serve our wider community.


Kiran Badola, designer of the elegant Eri silk shawl in the latest issue, is just one of the fascinating people who grace the pages of Handwoven. Kiran studied biology and chemistry as an undergraduate in her native India, but she grew up in the Himalayas, surrounding by handweavers making traditional rugs and other kinds of cloth. Her interest in plants and their fibers combined with her interest in textiles, and she decided to attend the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi. In the course of her studies, she found she loved surface design, but handweaving held the real fascination for her.

Badola Shawl  
Kiran's beautiful eri silk scarf was
featured in the Jan/Feb 2014
issue of Handwoven magazine. 
 

In 2000, Kiran moved to the United States with her husband. She bought a 16-harness Mountain Loom and began to weave with an intriguing yarn she had found in India. “It seemed to be cotton but was silk and had the qualities of both fibers,” she explains. The yarn was Eri silk, and it became a staple of her weaving business, Mountain Handicrafts, and later the subject of a book, Eri Silk: Cocoon to Cloth, co-written with Dr. Richard Peigler. In her beautiful book, Kiran traces the life of the Eri moth, shows us how Eri silk is used in traditional textiles around the world, and presents simple and elegant weaving projects using this amazing fiber.


Even though I’ve seen every page of the magazine many times before, it’s like every holiday rolled into one when I read an issue of Handwoven beginning to end for the first time. Like Kiran, each weaver brings a unique viewpoint and a singular passion to their contributions: in this latest issue, you'll find Nancy Arthur Hoskins' historical perspective, Michael Cook’s fascination with reeled silk, Lotte Dalgaard’s exploration of multi-dimensional fabrics, Marilyn Murphy’s loving interpretation of traditional Lao weaving, and much more. It’s a magical journey in the fellowship of exciting people. I hope you’ll join us for many issues to come.

 


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