Alchimia tapestry series

Shahar Livne

Fashion & Textile | Craft | Material | Research

Alchimia is a series of tapestries inspired by the entangled ecosystems in the natural world between animals, plants, and minerals and the human need to categorise, divide and organise nature around us.

In the past, textile dyers used animal-based materials in the hope that the colours took to the textiles better, this process was inspired by ‘Animalizing’, an alchemical term for adding an animal-driven material to matter to revive it. This alchemical process was the inspiration for Shahar Livne’s Tapestry series made of a triptych of three jacquard tapestries named ‘ANIMALS’, ‘MINERALS’ and ‘PLANTS’. For the ‘ANIMALS’ tapestry for example, she dyed milk and collagen-based yarns with oxblood, iron ore and madder and wove them into a tapestry in the TextielLab, thereby highlighting the use of animals as objects disassembled and reassembled by humans.

For the ‘ALCHIMIA’ tapestry series, Livne developed dye recipes for yarns in collaboration with Roua AlHalabi. AlHalabi dyed milk wool (made from milk proteins) and collagen-based yarns with animal, plant, and mineral pigments in new combinations.

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