Textile Lab is a mobile kitchen and workstation that we use at the GrowNYC Greenmarkets in NYC. We employ the greenmarket as a laboratory, to harvest and create natural dyes using local plants, and design and handcraft textiles with regional fiber from NYS Farms. We work within the greenmarket community to highlight the explicit role that that GrowNYC has in supporting and sustaining small agricultural businesses in NY.
The natural dyeing and material research that is underway with Textile Lab examines how textiles and handcrafting methods can stimulate dialog and participation; creating a cultural link through common traditions. As we work within the context of the local marketplace, we often share materials and tools with greenmarket visitors. This participatory experience at the local marketplace suggests a cooperative approach to material production and commerce, distinct from commercial manufacturing and trade. The public handcrafting with plants and natural fibers raises awareness about the origin, regional ecology and growing season of the materials, enabling participants to re-think the relationship that exists between design, nature, local production, and larger global systems.
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