How long does it take to make that?

I get that question at every show I do, and quite honestly I find it a very difficult question to answer.  Do I start with the selection of warp and weftdyes I use?  The time to wind the yarn onto my warping board? The process of soaking the yarns into a pre dye bath? The actual painting process? Or do I begin with rinsing the yarns after they are painted, and drying.  Do I count the hours threading the loom, the actual weaving, the fabric process, cutting out the patterns or the sewing of the piece?  Do I include the time to sew in labels, adding care tags and pricing?

As you can see, it is really not about the time, but more about process, what it actually takes to get that perfect color, that lovely pattern, the fit, and the style.

Sometimes, it just happens…..you know you have the perfect piece even before it comes off the loom, you can see that lovely fringed jacket, or know that this piece will be a wrap.  Sometimes, the colors call out to you, try me….try me, and they work.  Other times, it just isnt ever going to work, and you contemplate what you can do with the hours of time you have just put into the fabric.

So, back to the question, how long does it take you to make that?   Seriously?  That is a great question, but honestly I don’t really know.  To me, I am more concerned with whether my customer loves the one of a kind piece I have created, and the quality I have tried to achieve.  When everything comes together and I hand over the bag to a happy customer, then it doesn’t really matter how long it took to make it,  what matters is that someone appreciated the time I did put into it, and that makes me happy.

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