In July 2016, I was part of Cambridge (UK) Sustainability Residency 2016. CSRes is an artist-led project for artists working in the field of sustainability. The theme for 2016 was Growth and Insulation. Using the analogy of the endangered species, I explored current challenges to sustaining Pashmina textile tradition, including growing political, economic, environmental and aesthetic pressures, the dilution and mis-marking of the Pashmina label, and the growth of fast fashion/imitation Pashmina fabric.
I led several participants in learning how to differentiate fake, blended and authentic 100% Pashmina fabric using appearance, drape, weave, droplet and burn tests. Pashmina lights slowly and smells like burnt hair, making a fine powdery ash. When viscose/rayon burns, it smells like burnt leaves. When acrylic or polyester burns, it smells like vinegar or plastic, and melts and clumps.
My research was shown at the residency group show Periferica at the Ruskin Gallery in Cambridge July 2016.