A few weeks ago a friend from Switzerland came by to visit and talk about a collaboration which involved us weaving some carpets out of recycled coffee bean bags. When she opened the bag which carried the coffee bean bags I thought to myself, “ there is no way we can do this.” There were just too many things that needed to be done, such as getting the bags cleaned, figuring how to cut them into strips and then weave, all within the time frame that was required. But we took the first step and got them washed, dryed, ironed and then started the cutting and weaving process. This was probably one of the toughest projects we have taken on so far because once the bags were cut into strips, they were fraying and easily brole apart while weaving. Then they leave all these small hairs on you, your clothes get all dirty and you are itchy by the time you finished the day.
I am grateful for Afrodite who persevered through the weaving process and at the end of about a week the carpets were finished and they are on their way to Switzerland where they will be rolled out on the floor for a group of dancers to dance on at an event. When we wove the first meter of the carpet I thought it would be a great idea to recycle coffee bean bags which I know we can easily find in a country and city where people love their coffee. But then I thought of the process and the itchyness and I thought, maybe not for us!
BUT here is what we learned from the experience. The coffee bean bags are woven using a fibre called hemp. We happened to have ordered hemp yarn with out last order and so we had about 4kg of hemp and we are currently using it to weave some table mats and it works. So we are going to order more hemp and weave place mats and carpets because the textile that comes out is sturdy and good for that. Thankful for a great learning experience.