Not five minutes walk from my new place in Melbourne is the Younghusband Wool Store building that's full of artists and craftspeople doing their thing. In 206 is Ink and Spindle, a sustainable textile studio run by Lara Cameron and Tegan Rose, and on Saturday they had one of their open studio sessions including a demonstration of their printing technique on their 10m printing table.
I arrived just as the demonstration was starting. They had the fabric laid out along the table, using a glue to hold it in place and stop it slipping. Down each side were metal runners with stoppers located at various intervals depending on the repeat size of the pattern they are working on.
All their fabrics and inks are as sustainable as they can source and they have a selection of fabric colours and weights as well as a preferred colour palette so you can mix and match if you want them to create you a custom piece from their 20-odd designs. The designs are inspired by Melbourne and the natural environment, with patterns of rooftops; trams and bicycles; as well as local flora.
It takes both Lara and Tegan to print the length of fabric – one at each side of the table. They do their passes on the screen and then skip a repeat and move up the table, leaving the just-printed screen to touch-dry by heater. Once they've done every second repeat up the length of the table, they move back to the beginning to fill in the gaps.
After the demo there was plenty of time to ask questions – further research for plotting my escape! And of course, a chance to browse the finished product. I bought a little bundle of offcuts and a couple of cushion kits (good idea!) including fabric backing, zipper and instructions.