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How to best choose your raw materials


Raw materials and the means used in creational processes are really countless. An initial distinction, however, would be to recognize two categories. One 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 any synthetic material that doesn’t stain or need to be much cared for like ironed and so, while on the other hand, you could go for a more ephemeral solution, like a DIY paper solution! Stil, of course, the level of involvement and complexity, is for you to decide. Paper can range from super simple ideas like posted used all over, to cut-out artworks.

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

How much time you wish to spend on your creation? How is your clock ticking 🙂 ? 

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 DIY  for a more permanent solution, then my suggestion would be to go for good quality raws. If for example, you wish to make cushions or a new sofa cover, you would need to study carefully your way. You would need to measure in order to make your pattern pieces, then to add seam allowances, to study the way of assembly – what gets to be sawn first-, to add fastenings, to decorate them further an so on. This would have been a long journey and I would suggest getting relatively good quality materials 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 easily fall apart over time!

It’s all about suitability

In the photo above you can see a straw, glued with silicone hot glue on a stone that ends up in a dove made of felt. The dove is flying carefree 🙂 All the materials are suitable for the intended creation as they work fine … The felt, for example, is a great material to shape with just a pair of scissors and then for it to maintain its shape in place … standing  “proud & flat” – lol !  So, it is factual now that my materials are in principle suitable 🙂

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 through 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!

Study the available materials and their characteristics in terms of strengths and weaknesses … Look for applied examples … seek knowledge and awareness and decide mindfully! Assessing the different solutions to your own needs and specifications is the starting point for any decision.


Research is the path

In this process, remember to enjoy the path 🙂 and also to use the precious sketchbook, where you can actually collect all your info and inspiration. Fill it with information. Check measurements and widths of materials available, sizes, material content, origin, costs, any hidden costs of applying materials, available color range, textures, and graphics. Record any idea in detail and be sure, that slowly collecting bit by bit your info you will get deeper into a decision-making process.  You will be evaluating the required tools, the order of assembly, 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.


wakeup cut-exploring materials-treasures

Exploring various materials can really be fascinating indeed. Of course, the choice of materials depends on your personal evaluation criteria and to what you have access to. Access is constantly widening and choices are plenty nowadays. If you are looking for fabrics, for example, there are materials widely known and popular such as Cotton, Silk, Wool, while Hemp, Linen, and Denim follow. More specialized materials can also be found like Tyvek, Tencel, Jute fabric, Color grown cotton, Kenaf or Cork. Learn about options in 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 to include!

Καλό σου ταξίδι! Enjoy your travels and never be scared to craft your journey … no matter where your destination will be xxx

 Article by Calliope Poppy Anastouli

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