Monday, June 29, 2009

etnic roots

As I was looking for inspiration for the EST challenge, Kraplap told me I could also let me inspire by the traditional clothing of the countrys were my adopted kids were born.
She did not have to ask me twice, I admire the etnic roots of my kids!Flower Hmong
My eldest daughter Maia Dinh Thi Phuong is born in Hoa Bhin in Vietnam, situated in the mountains not far from Hanoi. As most of the Vietnamese have the ethny Khin, my daughter was originated from the Hmong, a minority Ethny who live in the mountains. I am very proud of that :-)

Noted most among their many crafts, their embroidery is stunning. The H'mong are among few people left in the world who, for the most part, still make their own clothes independently. Even if they buy the yarn at a local market, they still typically weave and embroider the fabric themselves. Many H'mong, though, still cultivate and dye, using local indigo plants, the cotton and hemp from which they make their clothing. From newborns to the recently deceased, the H'mong are dressed in finery. Other noteworthy crafts include the silversmithing and bronze making of jewelry. Indeed silver acts as a bona fide currency for them.

The eaarings are already available in my shop.

Flax flowers from my homeland....

This time it was not so easy creating for the Challenge with the theme: Let your entry be inspired by the traditional costumes of the country where you were born .This challenge is hosted by Kraplap. find her blog and the other entries here.

I did not find much information about traditional clothing in Belgium, I am sure there must be, but I had not the time to do much research!

So, I know Flanders was well known for it's lace (especially Bruges) and I learned making lace doilies when I was a child, so I have the skills to make myself a piece of lace, but all material lays stocked up at my mothers and I really hadn't the time to hop over there!
But I thought of something I also have a connection with: linen.

My parents almost grew up between the flax fields and both my grandparents were working in the flax agriculture. When I was young , the flax industry was in a crisis as cotton and synthetic fabric (which were much cheaper) became more important.

But nowadays increasing worldwide demand for linen makes it again important. Flax is one of the few crops still produced in Western Europe, with nearly 130,000 acres under cultivation annually. Climatic conditions in this region are perfect for growing flax!
Here you can find more about the huge work it is from Flax to linen.

Linen is crisp, clean and comfortable. Soft, yet strong and durable. The more it is used, the softer and stronger it becomes. It can absorb up to 20% of its weight in moisture before it feels damp, and easily releases moisture to the air to remain cool and dry to the touch. Flax remains colorfast and launders beautifully. It has the additional advantage to be non-allergenic. Flax requires considerably fewer pesticides and fertilizers than other crops. The fibers are recyclable and eventually biodegrade.

So I found the material for my challenge entry: something typical for the region where I was born: linen.
I used a dark grey linen fabric and combined with light lilac (the color of the beautiful flax blossom) sugulite stones and dark lilac ribbon. The silver chain and hoops go very well with these colors.
Available in my shop.