White: Day 31

I have been paying close attention to color since I made my switch to the black capsule wardrobe. How fun then, to watch a Spanish TV series about colors. 

White is the first color in the series. An absence of color, white is the color of what’s underneath. I start my art projects with white pieces of silk and then carefully squeeze on white lines of resist before staining the whole thing with tons of color. The silk is white so that it’s color won’t interfere with my design. 

Silk is naturally white, that’s true, but not cotton. It is naturally yellow and cotton fabric has to be strongly bleached during manufacturing to be so white. In fact, it is typical for manufacturers to add optical brightness that further mask the natural yellow shade, making cotton practically glow white. Apparently it is an American thing, to have our whites whiter than white. (I could write more about the Walmart exceptions in the GOTS standards…)  I suspect that this is partly because we are wealthy enough to set a high standard for even the “absence of color” that requires effort and expense other consumers aren’t willing or able to pay. 

How much of my life is lived at a level that looks florescent blue to people without the interest or money to obtain whatever at the highest standard? What is actually worth the true cost of the effort to meet those standards? 

I am working on a project that I won’t fully reveal until the last color in this series (grey) but here is the white silk draped over the black lined drawing design,  ready to trace in resist before applying the stains that blot away the whiteness. 

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