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College of Human Ecology

Fiberarts magazine features Haar's work

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sherry Haar’s innovative work in the use of garden plants for dying and printing is featured in the winter issue of the prestigious Fiberarts magazine.

In a column called Creative Process, the ATID professor writes about her from-the-garden garments: “I made the switch to natural dyes 5 years ago and since then have immersed myself in the growing and research of garden plants for dying and printing.”

Haar Dress

Sherry Haar used tickseed, hollyhock and cosmos flowers for the resist techniques for the Tri-Fold bias slip dress above.

She created several wearable-art pieces during a semester-long sabbatical when she worked on natural dyes by testing pre- and post-treatments for colorfastness.

Haar grows about 30 varieties in her dye garden and uses solar and decomposition extraction methods.

She used fresh and frozen flowers and leaves to create background visual texture for fabrics. “I hammered the plants through the layers of fabric using the soft rounded head of the hammer,” she explained.

“Striation,” one of the gowns featured in the magazine, was displayed at the juried Design Exhibition of the International Textile and Apparel Association in Montreal in October.

Haar has been researching what plant/fiber combinations reap the best colorfast results and how to incorporate sustainable methods in the dye process and product development for more than three years. She records each experiment in a three-ring notebook, complete with fabric swatches and a photo journal.

Synthetic dyes can be toxic to the environment, Haar said. Plant and animal dyes are not.

Haar and University photographer David Mayes provided photos to illustrate the Fiberarts article.

This article was posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2011, and is filed under Apparel, Textiles, & Interior Design, College News.