Finding ways to use fabric scraps could easily be a full time job at Alabama Chanin. Hopefully, our company will one day be large enough to facilitate an entire scrap development team; however, right now we are moonlighters and dabblers in the art of manipulating scraps of our organic cotton jersey into a variety of projects, products, and playthings.
Our goal of becoming a zero waste company means that every scrap of fabric we cut is taken seriously. We are constantly looking for new ways to mold, shape, and incorporate these fabric cuttings into our everyday work – lest they overtake us like the roadside kudzu that swallows entire towns in the South.
Long ropes, knotted for hours on end, make the most beautiful necklaces. The smallest pieces of organic cotton jersey become applique pieces, quilt batting, small wallets, and, my personal favorite, the long jersey ties wound over and over to make lovely “sculptural” yarn balls.
Everyone in the studio has, at one time or another, teased me about my enthusiasm for making them when we receive an order. More than twice I accidentally dropped a yarn ball halfway through its making and watched it unravel until there was nothing but the string I began with in my hand – admittedly disheartening, but never enough to deter me.
My desk is littered with a couple of unfinished rugs, a hat for Agnes, and a wreath that fell a little short of its holiday deadline. Sometimes I can’t keep up with my intentions. And something tells me I will probably start three new projects before finishing these.
Perhaps our most impressive scrap-work piece is the giant sofa made entirely of baled leftover fabric. Using these instructions we created a baler and went to work building a piece of furniture that is sturdy, functional, and beautiful.
A box of over 5 lbs. of organic cotton jersey in a variety of colors is being offered today for only $35. We’d love to see what you come up with.