A Healthy Obsession
I imagine I share a common obsession with many of you~ Assuit. For nearly a decade I have lusted over the beauty of this textile. As a result, I have plotted making a stretch replica that would honor the history depicted in the designs, while meeting the demands of my collection and customers.
Short of ‘embroidering’ an actual piece of tulle with metal thread myself, I have made great lengths to research how to authenticity make Assuit. Thanks to the hands on coaching of Dawn Devine and my learnings from her book The Cloth of Egypt, I did my best to create an accurate ‘blue print’ design following the perimeters of actual Assuit making. I was inspired to design the patterns on this cloth based on research of traditional designs. For example, the prominent hijab (diamond) motif which would protect the wearer from evil.
Designing my ‘Faux’ Assuit
Figuring out this geometric puzzle was no easy feat. Fortunately, I have the help of the technically gifted graphic artist, Jared Lazar. Our first step was laying a honeycomb grid as our canvas and started working from the inside out. One parallelogram at a time, we crafted an original design that is so accurate it could be copied into a real Assuit piece one day. (Yes, a dream of mine)
Attempting to ‘figure’ all this out gave me mad respect for this textile. That it can even be made seems a miracle.
My intention in making this fabric is not to make real Assiut obsolete. Rather, it is to make comfortable clothing that complements a collector’s piece. I also hope it will preserve the integrity of real Assuit by eliminating the need to cut up the hand made textile for costuming needs.
P.S. You can look at my Instagram feed for pics of the latest samples I’ve developed. xo