In a Nutshell
Gathered Cloths is an ongoing project initiated during Climate Creative Spring 2021 cohort participation. The objectives are to bring awareness to so-called textile waste and current practice of the Global Northern countries exporting enormous number of secondhand clothes to less economically developed Global Southern countries, to progressively contemplate what it means to reuse and upcycle materials as a creative maker, and to encourage more discussions and actions to minimize daily household waste.
The term “gathered” in Gathered Cloths refers to several terms:
- act of gathering unwanted fabrics / scraps / textile waste from the local community
- sewing technique commonly used to create ruffles in fabric manipulation
- practice of assembling many cloths together to create a bigger garment or object
Key Materials and Methods
Cotton and cotton blend fabric scraps and remnants that were previously gathered or rescued around San Francisco Bay Area. A large portion from the initial batch are leftovers from Covid-19 initiative project.
Strips of fabric are cut, gathered into ruffles, and applied on a base cloth. Remnants that are too small are layered and stitched together to form ruched cloths. The results are gathered cloth pieces in various dimensions. They are then assembled temporarily to create a bigger object, depending on how much area the assembled pieces can cover.
At the end of each week, the gathered cloths are disassembled to their individual pieces. As more gathered pieces are added, they are reassembled to create a new piece. For the first few weeks, the gathered cloths are assembled to form a garment. However, in the future, there will be less constraint on dress form and the cloths can be assembled to form a bigger non-garment piece – anything the assembler can imagine.
Base cloths and strips of fabrics are combined to form pieces of gathered cloths. They are then assembled temporarily and disassembled each week. Observations of design progress can be accessed here.
On the first week, 7 gathered cloths are finished. They are then assembled to create an unfinished waist corset and a shoulder cover.
On the second week, 8 gathered cloths are finished. With these, total of 15 cloths are then assembled to create a mini dress with a trailing vertical strip.
On the third week, 6 gathered cloths are finished. The picture on the right shows four pieces that were finished first. Total of 21 cloths are then assembled to create an asymmetrical coat.
On the fourth week, 15 gathered cloths are finished. Four of them are large rectangular cloths. Moreover, one long narrow strip done on Week 2 is cut in half. Starting from this week, the Gathered Cloths assembly is somewhat stabilized to create variations of an outerwear garment that fits various bodies (instead of a size 6 professional dress form). With the adjusted number, a total of 37 cloths are assembled to create a long coat that grazes the floor.
On the fifth week, 7 gathered cloths are finished. Full assembly of 44 total cloths are assembled to create a long coat with train during Climate Creative Showcase on July 17th, 2021 at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Below, see Logan Evasco, Qi Diaz, and Lisa Anderson wearing Gathered Cloths!