My project is an experimental journey and a statement for slow fashion, tradition, and material appreciation. It consists of a sheep vest made from recycled materials by using traditional ryijy-technique and a video of my process.
In this project I wanted to reflect on things like slow fashion, tradition, and material appreciation. When I thought about the problems of fast fashion, I realized that we are the only animal that needs clothes to survive. We do not consider ourselves as a part of nature anymore, but we see nature as something separate, something to exploit or something to protect.
I chose sheep wool as my main material because I like to wear and take care of woolly clothes. As a Finnish person it is many times a practical choice but also, I feel like there is authenticity in wool and I would like to see it (among many other materials) getting more acknowledgement.
Thinking of traditional craft techniques, ryijy seemed to fit best for my purpose. It is a slow process that often utilizes scraps or recycled yarn. I also wanted to make the piece wearable to highlight the slow fashion aspect of my work and because nowadays ryijy is most often seen as a static artwork on the wall.
I visited a farm and walked couple of hours among the sheep in -25°C to get a sense how the original owners felt about their fur. After that I bought all the misshaped and worn woolly clothes I could find from the recycling centre and started to untie the yarns. I sew a vest together from an old sack of oats found from a barn and started to tie the ryijy knots in it. The whole process took me three seasons.