May 2011

Yarn Art!

Yarn Art is a very interesting concept of using yarn as a medium for painting rather than for knitting or crochet. Two weeks ago I ran into such a project in San Francisco. I saw a very colorful 1967 Chrysler Imperial parked across from my car in the parking lot. My first thought was that it was Sand Painting, but upon closer inspection I realized that the car was covered with colorful yarn. You can see images of the car and read the story behind it at http://www.yarncar.com

Seeing the Yarn Car sent me on a quest to find out if other artists use yarn as their medium. I found that there is a group of Native Americans living in the Sierra Madre region of Mexico who use yarn for their paintings. This group of people was living in a mountainous region and that was not conquered by the Spaniards. They are one of the last tribes who live the same way they did in pre-Colombian times. They are called the Huichol. The Huichols have their own beliefs and are deeply religious. Since they do not have a written language, they use their art to express their beliefs and feelings. Some of their smaller paintings are used as offerings to their many deities.

The way they work is that they cover the surface of their piece, mostly plywood, with bees wax and press yarn into the wax. Some of the artists sketch their designs onto the wax and some on the plywood. Since the wax is translucent the sketch can be seen from underneath the wax. These intricate designs are extremely colorful and beautiful. The Huichols use very fine yarn; therefore it is very hard to tell that yarn was the actual medium used in their paintings. These paintings are sometimes considered historical in nature and are therefore very valuable. For more information about the Huichol yarn paintings check out:

Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

Your comments about the appearance and function of this site are welcomed by

© Copyright NeedlecraftUniversity.com