A long time ago...
in a theatre far far away,
Benjamin Krudwig viewed
one of the best movies in his time;
Star Wars IIV - The Force Awakens.
The rebel forces continued
to battle the First Order.
Meanwhile, Benjamin had
many thoughts of textiles from
the Star Wars universe....
There may be movie spoilers in this post for those people who haven't yet seen the newest installment of Star Wars.
In most movies (especially if I have seen them more than once) I am inherently drawn to the costuming and design . What does it say about the character, the time period, the setting? I find this extremely fascinating when it comes to science fiction and fantasy because the whole world is made up from scratch. I like to imagine somewhere in Middle Earth, Asgard, or the ice planet of Hoth that there are textile mills creating the fabrics of the universe.
I find movie empires like The Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars have really taken the thought behind costume design to heart, and it shows in the success of how each of those films make audiences feel.
The wealth of imagery in my head concerning the textile industry in Star Wars is as large as the Empire... I think of sturdy Tauntaun shepherds, gathering the undercoat, (I imagine it is much like yak fiber,) taking it to the village and letting the spinners make the yarn who then give the cones of yarn to the weavers, knitters, etc. to make the garments that people wear. I imagine the textile artists in Kamino use some sort of synthetically created and manufactured material for their outfits. The Gungan spinners from Naboo have been taking kelp from their vast seaweed forests and processing it into a lovely plant fiber.
On a more focused level, my head swims with the thoughts of where did this textile come from, and why does this character wear it? What does it all mean?
In Episode VII, the new 'bad guy' Kylo Ren wears the traditional black, donned by many movie baddies, including his grandfather, Darth Vader. What struck me as the most interesting aspect of his regalia, costume, whatever you might call it, was his hood. There were enough close-ups of him during the film for me to get a closer look.
The piece of his outift that was most compelling to me was his hood. This had elements of his personality scattered throughout, and whether or not the costume designer purposefully did this, much of this character is represented by this hood.
Here is a break down of the hood and what it means to me about Kylo Ren.
It's a hood - Though a few Star Wars villains have sported hoods in the past, I like to think that this one holds some significance in the fact that he still has a little Jedi in him.
It's black - He leans towards the dark side, obvious.
There are flecks of silver-grey in the threads - He has hankerings of going toward the light side.
The weave structure is a 2X2 basket weave (overlaid on top of another fabric it appears) - this shows the structured side of him, his need for order.
It's frayed at the ends - his temper frequently gets the best of him and he lashes out. Better yet "He is rough around the edges"
Having been so inspired by this garment, and that I happen to also wear a lot of black and grey, I felt the need to make one myself. So Long story short, I will be going from raw fiber to finished woven hood in a series of 3 blog posts (2 more after this one.)
If you would like to make your own along with me, you will need:
8-10 ounces of Alpaca Fiber - black. I found mine on Etsy, but you can contact a local farm or yarn shop to see what they have in stock.
I chose Alpaca due to my desire to make this project without using dyed fiber. I have wool sensitivities to medium-coarse fiber, however you may choose any fiber you like.
<1 oz of Silver Firestar - this will be used sparingly. I got this from Greenwood Fiberworks
Carding equipment, hand cards would do just fine, but I will be using my Strauch Drum Carder.
A device to spin all of this lovely fiber, I will be using my delightful Schacht Matchless.
A tool to weave the wonderful hood, I will be using a Schacht 15" Cricket Loom.
A sewing machine or a needle and thread. (Black)
Scissors or a Rotary cutter.
Join me in the next post to see the process of spinning the yarn for this project!
Is there anything else you'd like to see me tackle? Let me know in the comments below!