I am a textile designer, weaver researcher and educator. This is a blog about my work in progress and things that inspire me. For weaving lessons, questions or just to say hi please don't hesitate to get in contact. You can see my website here http://www.juliastreou.com/

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Article in “TimeOut Cyprus” magazine, April edition

In the beginning, it seemed strange to me to be called a hero, but then I thought it’s just right! Perhaps I am a hero and I haven’t realized it. In a fast-paced world where everything revolves around mass production, retaining this ancient craft seems a great achievement!

Many thanks to Popi Vaki from Time Out Cyprus for writing and publishing this article. The article is in Greek only!

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Αρχικά ο τίτλος με ξένισε, αλλά ύστερα σκέφτηκα ότι είναι κατάλληλος! Ίσως να είμαι πράγματι ηρωίδα. Το ν’ ασχολείται κανείς με την παραδοσιακή υφαντική σήμερα, σ’ ένα κόσμο όπου τα πάντα περιστρέφονται γύρω από τη μαζική παραγωγή, μπορεί να είναι πράγματι πράξη ηρωική.

Ευχαριστώ την Πόπη Βάκη από το Time Out Cyprus για τη συγγραφή και δημοσίευση αυτού του άρθρου.

A couple of days ago, I gave an educational tour around my workshop to elementary school students. I was pleased to see that hand weaving seemed fascinating to them. They were amazed at the diversity of woven pieces produced at the workshop and were particularly drawn to a woven narrative wall hanging. It is really interesting to see that children are so drawn to narrative!

The tour concluded with the making of a small woven basket made with colourful fabric strips. A satisfying venture since everyone walked away with a handmade creation of their own!

"Unraveling the Ball of Time" - Talk given at the Elementary School B’ of Kaimakli

Last Friday, 28th of February, I gave a talk at the Elementary School B’ of Kaimakli, (B’ Dimotiko Kaimakliou) which is located near my workshop. 

The talk focused on the history of local weaving, starting 200 hundred years ago. It was based on information accompanying the exhibition held in Myloi Municipal Centre in 2009 titled “Embroideries, Woven Fabrics and Traditional Costumes from Kaimakli”.

The information focused on the role and development of textiles through time as it was experienced by members of my family to this day. The textiles were closely related to the dramatic changes in the history and social development of the area. The local traditional textiles always remain an important element in the evolution of contemporary textiles. 

Lace Weaves Workshop

The past weekend I traveled to London to attend a weaving workshop on Lace Weaves at The Handweavers Studio & Gallery, given by Melanie Venes. 

Melanie, is an expert on lace weaves with a warm and pleasant personality who is always ready to answer any queries and give suggestions and feedback for the future. 

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During the workshop, we worked with a variety of traditional lace weaves such as huck lace, spot Bronson, Swedish lace, mock leno and canvas weave and had the opportunity to explore how they might be used in contemporary ways too. 

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Lace weaves are a group of weaves which are not true lace, but they are plain weave fabrics with skips and floats that slide together to leave open spaces in a plain weave ground.  

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My travel to the UK and my participation in this workshop was made possible and sponsored by the European (EU) Lifelong Learning Programmes (LLP).

Jersey Textile Showcase

The woven piece which will take part in the Jersey Textile Showcase is finished!

The work was done on the four shaft traditional Cypriot loom. The designs were created by counting the threads and placing the ribbons among them.

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The piece is already in London, it was taken there a few days ago as I traveled to the UK to participate in a weaving workshop at The Handweavers Studio & Gallery!

imageThe work is based on a photo of an archive piece of a Litchfield handwoven silk tissue (1928) given by CAMAC Design, a company focused on delivering competitions for textile students in order to build links between new designers entering the creative industry and the professionals already in it.

Last Saturday, I spent the morning preparing the warp as I usually do, following the traditional Cypriot procedure.

The warp is made on the wall of my workshop which overlooks the inner garden. Two pieces of wood with pegs along them, which are permanently fixed on the wall serve to place the warp threads in such a way so that they are all evenly tensioned. This aligns the threads in the order (and length) in which they will be placed on the loom. To keep track of this order, a cross is made at one end of the warp.

This process takes a few hours to complete and one should take great care in order to have an even tension and make sure that all the threads follow the same path. After all, a well made warp is the basis for a well made fabric!

At the end, the warp is being wound into a big ball!

Even though making the warp can be a bit tiring, I enjoy the process very much! 

Through practice, I found that there is a diachronic value in traditional designs. 

Thus one collection of my designs, including this handwoven lampshade, are inspired from traditional woven “asproploumia” (white, embroidered ornaments with cotton-thread). The designs of the asproploumia are simple, usually geometric, without any details.

The cane is in-woven alternatively with white cotton cord which follows a repeated S shape – the basic weave used in “asproploumia”. The resulting design reminds of meanders and columns, forms and shapes of classical Greece. The meander was the most important symbol in Ancient Greece, symbolizing infinity or the eternal flow of things. Many temples and objects were decorated with this motif. 

These meander shaped designs convey a strong classical Greek style linking archaic with traditional and contemporary designs.

These are the first stages of experimentation for creating a woven piece for the prestigious Jersey Textile Showcase which will take place in March, in St. Aubin, Jersey.

The work is based on a photo of an archive piece of a Litchfield handwoven silk tissue (1928) given by CAMAC Design, a company focused on delivering competitions for textile students in order to build links between new designers entering the creative industry and the professionals already in it.

The work is based on Art Deco, a movement which marked the beginnings of modern design or Modernism. It was a reaction against Art Nouveau by the avant-garde groups of artists in Europe starting in 1909 with the arrival in Paris of the Ballets Russes with its exotic costumes and scenery and the influence of Paul Poiret’s innovative new fashions. It reached its zenith around the world in the interwar years, affecting every type of design and way of life including architecture, interior design, graphic design, the decorative arts, fashion, transport, etc.

Art Deco was a retrospective term coined in the 1960’s to denote the prevalent styles of this period, but each country had its own name for it and its own version of the style such as the ‘Bauhaus’ in Germany, ‘The Futurists’ in Italy, the ‘World of Art Collective’ in Russia, the Jazz Age in America and the Cubism movement which influenced artists all over Eastern and Western Europe. They epitomised the new modern way of life with its sharp geometric designs and bright colours seen in every aspect of modern living.