Louise Barker Designs

Louise Barker Designs

About The Artist

Louise Barker • Kalispell, MT
Clothing - Accessories

Louise Barker's sense of design is tactile and organic. When she creates, she tries to allow the materials to speak for themselves. Her work in fiber reflects a balance of sophistication with elements of nature. Louise has been involved with surface design for over 40 years working in many different facets of creating with fiber. Dyeing and printing on fabric for one of a kind accessories and clothing has been a main love. She continues to find new ways to express herself - she constantly strives to evolve and give her customers something new to discover. She loves seeing the unexpected results that happen when you cannot have complete control over a substance or process. Louise's sense of design is tactile and organic. It is a unique balance of sophistication and nature which is reflected by the landscape of Montana - the alpen glow on snow topped mountains, birch bark, aspen leaves and rocks of any kind. These are her inspiration. She hopes her work will inspire you.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

Most of the fabric that I work with is natural - silk, wool, linen, cotton or rayon. Quite often I will use metal to stain/rust the fabric. Once that happens, the fabric is cleaned and ready to be dyed. I gather leaves and other organic material that is placed on top of the fabric. I often also paint the fabric with a permanent dye. Once I am satisfied with the design, the fabric is tightly rolled and steamed for hours. Once the fabric has been steamed, it is unrolled and the organic material removed. The final step is piece cleaned and ready to wear!

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

I love the unexpected results! Opening a steamed roll of fabric and removing the organic material is like opening a gift! You cannot totally predict the results. The organic character is dynamic and I never get tired of seeing what happens. Using silk is especially rewarding as it drinks in the color of the dye.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

People are always amazed when I tell them that originally the fabric was white. I think that the use of eco printing with the dye that I use is unique - often eco printing is more neutral in color. Eco printing is always unexpected as you can never really control the outcome.