#marchmeetthemaker – story

During the month of March many creatives participate in #marchmeetthemaker , which is a way to share with others aspects of their creative process. The first prompt was “story”, which I thought would be nice to share.

W1 Hundred was born out of an interest of textiles, local fibres, and ethical, ecological and historic practices. I started knitting at age 6 and sewing at age 9. Add in an Art diploma and a fascination with natural dyeing, and a business was formed.

As the business progresses, it is interesting to see the challenges created by staying true to core values, especially in a world of mass produced product. However, the core values are the main story: factory free knits, carefully selected materials, natural dyeing, Canadian produced wool, and Canadian inspired pieces. Pieces built out of a belief in quality and process, and pieces crafted to last.

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http://www.w1hundred.com

 

 

Studio Life

Studios and workshops are the locations you spend most of your time in when creating textiles. When work is going well, it isn’t unusual to put in 12+ hours in a day.

However work spaces, themselves, can greatly impact both your creativity and productivity.   My best work is created in fresh, well organized spaces.

I like to have my fibre organized by type, and ply. I like colors to be easy to view and accessible. Patterns in their place. Nice lighting, but not industrial. Great music, or lectures to listen to, are also essential. Artwork has also always  played a part in my work space on the coast.

This week I decided to hang some new artwork in the space by the loom. It is a painting I completed about a year ago inspired by one of my favourite west coast hikes. New year, new painting to look at as I work. After all, the more inviting a work space is, the more of a joy creating in them is.

 

http://www.w1hundred.com

West Coast Inspiration

A little west coast influence.

I’m currently out creating in my island workshop on the west coast. Different work spaces provide different focuses, projects and influences.

Waves and west coast greys influenced the style of the zero-waste toque in the picture, which makes sense considering the picture was taken in a spot that is only a short walk from the workshop.

Our pieces often embrace their Canadian roots in style, materials and design. We are proud to be Canadian, and choose to be authentically Canadian in our designs, rather than mimic the styles of European knitwear. We feel by staying true to our core value of producing Canadian products, it allows each of our customers to wear a little bit of Canada.

New pieces are being worked on and will be listed online in the coming weeks.

W1 Hundred offers their products for sale online. We also welcome inquiries from retailers interested in adding our pieces to their offering.

http://www.w1hundred.com

Proudly Canadian

Canadian is our thing. Canadian farmed wool. Canadian mills. Knitwear handcrafted in Canada. In a  world flooded with imports, we think it is pretty special to create a Canadian made product for Canadians.

Each time a customer buys one of our wool toques, scarves, or even a little Coffee Sweater, they are supporting a whole Canadian supply chain. Farmers, veterinarians, mill workers, and transport workers all benefit in various stages of the production and delivery of the wool yarn we use.

We all work together to create a truly Canadian product, and in this era, that is pretty rare.

http://www.w1hundred.com

Grassroots Canadian Business – an interview with 630CHED and CHQR

Have you ever been curious about W1 Hundred, or the person behind it? Well tomorrow morning you have a chance to find out a little bit more.

At 6:13 am you can hear an interview on 630CHED and CHQR. Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta radio stations. You’ll hear me chat wool, knits, and how it all started.

I hope you’ll tune in!

– Debra

Indigo Dip

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Indigo, is one of the most loved colors. The calming blue tones are a favourite with customers year after year. While most people are familiar with indigo in its denim form, indigo dyed wool knitwear is also striking.

Indigo is interesting as the color is built up over multiple dips, interspersed with oxidization periods. Dip after dip the color gets deeper and deeper. Depending on the length of the dip time, and the number of dips, colors from light blue to dark blues can be achieved.

Today we are hand dyeing Canadian produced and milled wool in natural indigo. Hand dyeing allows us to work in small batches, creating minimal waste, while providing a unique color depth with each batch we dye.

It will be many days before this yarn is ready to use, as once dyeing is complete, the yarn must then wait 24 hours before being washed. The wool yarn is then left to dry naturally. Once fully dry, the yarn is de-tangled and rolled by hand, and then rolled a second time into a cake-shaped skein suitable for creating knits with.

Time and craftsmanship is the foundation for all the pieces we create. Carefully chosen fibres and yarns, hand dyeing, and our own creative designs are brought together into handcrafted pieces.

http://www.w1hundred.com

 

Osage

Natural dyeing day. Today I am dyeing with osage wood chips. The wood chips are steeped , much like tea, before beginning the dyeing process. This natural dye will provide a yellow color to the organic cotton knits that will be dyed over the next few days.

Natural dyeing is a slow process. It is not unusual for pieces to spend days in the dye pot with adjustments being made. Each dyeing session provides slightly different results, part of the joy of creating natural fashion.

New spring and summer cotton pieces coming soon to the shop.

Organic Cotton

Organic cotton. This is one of the fibres I am knitting with today.

Choosing materials mindfully is incredibly important. The piece may look similar to others on the market, yet it makes its statement through its ethics, respect for farm worker, and the environment .

Finding ethical materials to work with isn’t always the easiest, but it is worth it to be able to create clothing with a conscious. Fashion can be done environmentally and ethically “correct” with just a little extra effort.

www.w1hundred.com