Muslin, linen and other lightweight fabrics feel best in the warmest of weather, yet when the temperature drops, the desire for a more tactile experience takes over. That's when we gravitate towards soft chenille and cozy wool, reveling in the sense of comfort these woven textiles offer.
"I like a nice drape," says weaver Sue Tye, who blends 60 percent wool with 40 percent silk for textiles that combine softness and thickness. The combination of fibers allows her to produce a myriad of woven works: wall hangings, table runners, throws, wraps, pillows and even a few clothing items like mittens, scarves and custom jackets.
Tye has been weaving for roughly 10 years and exhibits her work at both the Art Spirit Gallery and Emerge gallery in Coeur d'Alene. As she builds up inventory, she's considering getting more involved in local craft markets, though she's also drawn to teaching and conducts frequent workshops on weaving and working with textiles.
Not content with just weaving, Tye also dyes fibers herself. She purchases a 40-pound bale of fiber called a "bump," then uses acid-based dyes, creating large, loosely braided ropes of vibrant, multi-hued fiber.
"I'm inspired by color and texture," says Tye, who spins the fiber into her own custom yarns. On her dining room table sits a large ceramic bowl of yarn, looking every bit as inviting as a bowl of fruit and perfect for adding warmth and evergreen color to the room.