Development Credit: Faith
Simply put, Textile Production is the skill and art of creating textiles, including yarns and fabrics. This skill includes a range of textiles, detailed below. It must be noted that this covers the creation of fabric and yarn - the needlecraft skill is required in order to make anything out of it. Therefore, a character with this skill would create the fabrics which the character with the needlecraft skill would use to make clothing or other items.
Textiles in this context are fabrics and yarns. Fabrics are swathes of material which are created using one of the techniques below. Idalos has a wide variety of fabrics to choose from, ranging from jute to satin. Each of these can be created using Textile Production, although it must be noted that leather working is its own skill and the production of leather is not included in Textile Production. Fabrics can be created from a wide variety of materials, including the coats of animals (sheep, goats, alpacas, etc), silk produced by insects such as spiders, and the flowers and blossoms of plants.
Yarns are threads of fabric, usually spun either on a wheel or by hand to make long strings. These are used in the needlecraft techniques, or can also be made into fabrics using the techniques below. Yarns are usually made from either the coats of animals (sheep, goats, alpacas etc) or silk produced by insects such as spiders, but more unusual materials might also be used.
Note: In both cases, the more rare or expensive the animal, the more expensive the fabric.
Colour and Dyes
Central to the creation of textiles is the consideration of colour. Whilst fabrics such as jute and the most inexpensive of yarns tend to be the colour of the raw material, the application of colour to the production process opens up all sorts of possibilities. Dyes are usually made from flowers, specifically the petals, and they are often applied to the raw material before any production technique is used. This tends to ensure a more even coverage and application of the dye. It is important to note that this skill does not allow one to create or craft dyes, only to use them. Crafting dyes, both natural and synthetic, requires the Chemistry skill. This is a useful complimentary skill to Textile Production.
The End Product
The end product of Textile Production, namely the fabrics and yarns created, might be used most obviously by a home needlecrafter, a tailor or seamstress. However, the jute sacks which carry vegetables in the cart to market up and down Idalos, the soft furnishing and the towels, bedding and other fabric goods such as curtains, tablecloths and so on are all made from the textiles produced here. Even the undertaker lines their coffins with textiles produced using this skill.
Use of a spinning wheel to create threads for sewing or yarn for knitting / crochet. The traditional "spinning wheel" is used to craft yarn, but there are a variety of types of spinning. These include: floor wheels which are useful for spinning cotton and silk, treadle wheels which are worked with the foot in order to keep the hands free and produce thick chunky yarn, and the traditional spinning wheel which can produce most yarns and threads. Spinning produces yarns and threads and is not used for the creation of fabric.
The skill of interlacing yarn or thread at right angles in order to produce fabric. Often used after spinning in order to produce a range of fabrics. Horizontal threads are called the "warp" whilst vertical threads are called the "weft". Weaving can be done by hand or, more usually, on a loom. A loom is a device which is designed to create fabric, either a bale of a specific fabric type or it can also be used to create a tapestry. It utilizes a weaving technique but because of the nature of the machine, it is able to create fabric of a much finer specification than weaving by hand.
After the creation of a thick fabric, usually made from weaving spun yarn, the woven fabric is brushed and treated and then brushed again in order to take on a "felt like" appearance. This negates the gaps in fabric, but makes it less smooth and gives it a sort of 'fuzzy' feeling.
A thick lacy effect can be created via crochet as part of the needlecraft skill - an example would be a thick lacy shawl. However, to produce fine lace fabric a technique known as filigree or a variety of loom methods must be used. Lace making is one of the most difficult skills of the textile producer. Lace is an incredibly complex fabric to make and, whilst complexities can be added in to all the techniques above, this one starts at very difficult with a number of stages; including the creation of the base grid (an open weave grid of very fine thread) which then has individual designs hand woven onto it in minute detail and tied off before the base grid is meticulously taken away, often one thread at a time.
The novice textile producer is learning this trade. They will be coming to grips with the tools of the trade and will likely be spending a lot of time at the spinning wheel. Since this is where the threads which make up all of the fabric are created, the art of spinning wool, silk, cotton and so on is vital. The novice learns about all the techniques used, but their practice is very limited. At novice, the character can make Jute, Hemp, Ramie and Organza with relative certainty. It is unusual for a novice textile producer to use dyes in any way.
The competent textile producer is able to create fabrics of a common quality on a regular basis. They can produce linen, cotton, wool, chiffon and taffeta with ease (as well as those in Novice). More complex fabrics such as brocade can be produced but at a poor standard. Colour is used at this level of experience. Dyes can be used but application tends to be one or two colours per piece of fabric or type of yarn and complex designs are simply not in their remit. A competent character can produce lace but it is an incredibly time-consuming process and tends to lead to a fabric with holes or inconsistencies at least half the time.
An expert in this skill produces quality basic fabrics and is able to create brocade, velvet, silk and satin of a good standard and increased complexity. They can begin to craft basic lace confidently at this level, although it is a laborious process which consumes a lot of time and more complex lace can be quite hit and miss. At this level, they are likely to be working with a variety of colours and combining colours efficiently.
The master of this skill is able to produce exquisite fabric which is an absolute pleasure to work with. Beautiful lace, flawless silk or satin and high quality yarn are all the fruits of this individual and they are much sought after. Their tapestries are beyond compare and brocade produced by them is able to be delightfully complex or deceptively simple.