Montag, 27. Februar 2017
Silk from Barbara Hertel
1 silk jumper = 1 000 silk cokoons-detail
The metamorphosis of one bombyx mory lasts about ten months. We use
different silken fabrics, paper and threads for different purposes, even silk
waste is used to twist thread. This shows the value of silk. There are many steps
to unwinding the first protein thread from a cocoon, which requires constant
work often under poor working conditions and with low pay. Today you get the
first protein thread in less than two months with the help of an incubator.
What was expensive and therefore exclusive once, we are able to afford these
days. It is easy to forget the conditions behind collecting the wonderful, shiny
silk. My work tries to capture the complexity by combining old and new silks
(fabrics and threads) with modern dying and printing techniques and the very
old craftsmenship of handembroidery.
It takes about 1 000 cocoons to knit one jumper, symbolized by the printed QRCode
on a silk scarf from 1980s to 1990s. The importance of silk in China’s
history is shown by Chinese charaters for silk, paper, green, red, dark red, light
yellow. All of them contain the Chinese radical for silk. The brown bourette silk
is handed down from the late 1890s. 1 000 knots (i.e. eggs and caterpillars) are
sitting on the fabric, the lacy silk paper and pices of mulberry tree bark, the
feeding plant for the caterpillars.