While we are known for our elaborate hand-sewn, hand-embellished garments, collaboration has long been an integral part of our philosophy. My cousin’s family owns MTM Recognition in Princeton, Illinois, where they make an array of hand-made jewelry pieces produced by skilled craftsmen. When the opportunity to create jewelry together came up, the idea of capturing the texture of cotton jersey fabric and the detail of hand embroidery into a bracelet felt like a natural addition to the Alabama Chanin line. The Cast Fabric Cuff was designed with our hand-sewn, heirloom garments in mind.
The process of making these bracelets has many steps (like a Julia Child recipe). We’ve outlined them below, to give an idea of how special these pieces are (and how a Cast Fabric Cuff is well worth the wait).
Step 1. Draw a straight line on the cut fabric pieces to be ruffled.
Step 2. Cut strip of fabric 1/4” wide and about 20” long or as long as a fabric scrap permits.
Step 3. Lay strip over line drawn in step 1. Insert needle in the middle of the strip of fabric at the beginning of strip and line.
Step 4. “Random Ruffle” strip by gathering 1” to 1 1/2” on needle, taking one or several stitches into base fabric, and repeating process to end of line. Vary size and position of gathering stitches in strip as you work.
Step 1. Stitch together pieces of recycled cotton jersey to create small fabric collages using “Random Ruffle” technique.
Step 2. Sculpt fabric collages into desired shape.
Step 3. Create a rubber mold around the fabric.
Step 4. Remove the fabric to leave a negative cavity in the mold.
Step 5. Inject wax into the mold to create a wax replica of the fabric collage.
Step 6. Attach the wax replicas to a wax tree.
Step 7. Insert the wax tree into a stainless steel flask and fill it with investment; a material similar to plaster of paris.
Step 8. Place the flask into an oven to cure the investment and burn out the wax.
Step 9. Pour molten metal into the flask and let it cool.
Step 10. Clip the jewelry from the tree, smooth and polish.
Step 11. Stitch polished jewelry pieces with thread and, in some cases, add cotton jersey ropes made from recycled fabric.
You may choose to have your Cast Fabric Cuff done in Platinum/Sterling Alloy or Gold Vermeil. Each hand-polished cuff is sewn with Button Craft thread #155 Dogwood through the random ruffle appliqué after casting, and engraved with the Alabama Chanin logo on the inside of the cuff.
Expect up to a three – six week processing and delivery time for your Cast Fabric Cuff.
Please contact us at orders (at) alabamachanin.com or call +1.256.760.1090 if you have questions or would like assistance in ordering your Cast Fabric Cuff.
Many people who never realized the level of skill, attention to detail, and voluminous amount of labor involved in designing and creating genuinely handmade items have been educated by Alabama Chanin. You can certainly be proud of that accomplishment! As an artist, I thank you for your contribution to the appreciation of “slow design”. I have admired Alabama Chanin’s work for years and had seen the cast cuffs in photos and in person but did not know the process involved in creating one. What an amazing process it is! I enjoyed learning of the many steps required to achieve the rustic, uniquely pretty end result.
so awesome. my favorite.