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How to choose wisely raw materials

The materials and the means used in creational processes are really countless. Initially, I would recognize two broad categories. One is for long lasting materials and the other refers to more short-lived ones. For example, think of possible materials for making a curtain: you could use a 100% cotton fabric or a more ephemeral solution, like a DIY paper option.


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On short-lived structures usually, you need less time to complete a project, while for more stable and long lasting structures you may need more time to research, to study and to finally select the most suitable option.


How much time you wish to spend on your creation?


The time factor is an important parameter when selecting your materials, as the nature of the materials influences the mode of making you choose for your creation. If you decide to go into a more complicated way of making for a more permanent solution, then my suggestion would be to get good quality raws. If for example, you wish to make cushions for your sofa, you would need to study carefully your way to measure, to make patterns, to add seam allowances, to sew, to add fastenings and maybe to decorate them afterward. This is a long journey and I would suggest getting a relatively good quality fabric since the process of making requires relatively a long time and effort and you do not want to end up putting all this time in a creation that will maybe peel-off very soon and not last over time!


It’s all about suitability


Furthermore, your decision should be based on the magic word “suitability”! There is no right or wrong when it comes to decision about making and creation… just suitability and viability. A suitable option for your cushions would perhaps be a fabric in a colour that matches your sofa and is soft when you lie your head on, it’s cool in the summer and it does not make your cheek sweating, it can be easily washed in the washing machine after spilling a bit of your pasta sauce on it, and also your cat loves it without the cat hair on the cushion’s surface revealing your pet’s love. There are so many parameters that are important specifically to every one of us, and if we actually analyse them beforehand, we could make the best choice! I made some cushions lately from old sheets and I have put zips on them in order to easily wash the covers every now and then. Maybe though a cushion from a sheet would not be that suitable for you, as you prefer to wipe them off instead of washing them, so you would really be in search for a more water-resistant option. Artificial leather, or your old raincoat, or a broken umbrella could do the trick! Find your inventory lists, check out 2nd Hand Stores, bazaars, visit handmade markets and charity stores or in other words Collect4List, Go4Used, Gift4More as we describe on Wakeupcut Philosophy. Check out available materials and study their characteristics, their strengths and weaknesses… seek for examples, seek for knowledge! Evaluating your alternatives according to the purpose of your creation and to your needs is the cornerstone for all decision into crafts.


Research is the path


In this process, always remember to use sketchbook, where you can actually collect all your info and inspiration. Fill it with information. Check the widths, the sizes, the content, the origin, the costs of the materials that can be found around you, the available color palettes, desired textures, and graphics. Record any idea and detail and be sure, that slowly collecting bit by bit your info you will get deeper into a decision-making process and you will start evaluating the required tools, the order of assembly and the finishing touches, while your experience will be constantly evolving :-)!

Nowadays, in all the cities, big or small, there are shops with crafting materials. If you are in Athens, or you are just visiting it, there are many shops tucked in the historical city center, that worth really visiting. The Web of course is also a good source for new supplies and experiments.


Explore


Exploring materials can be really fascinating. Start with understanding the basics: Hemp, Linen weaved into Gabardine and Denim, then explore more specialized materials like Tyvek, Tencel, Jute fabric, Color grown cotton, Kenaf or Cork. Learn about options in silk and Cruelty-free silk or Nettles. Start with reading about Bamboo fabric, Soy fabric and end up reading the most unbelievable stories about fabric made by Milk fiber, Pineapple leaves, Banana fabric, SeaCell, PET fabric even Fish skin fabric. We will keep on filling Wakeupcut Glossary, and please feel free to send us any terms you may wish also adding.


Enjoy your travels and never be scared to explore, xxx


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