Molly McLaughlin Fiber

Molly McLaughlin Fiber

About The Artist

Molly McLaughlin • Amherst, MA

Care of our planet is a guiding theme in Molly McLaughlin’s life. She weaves her art with the intention of creating connections to the beauty of the natural world around us. Her fiber practice is focused on keeping eco-friendly textile traditions alive by dyeing her fibers with foraged and home grown plants, using non-computerized weaving techniques, and re-using fibers salvaged from abandoned textiles. It is a slow process that allows Molly more time to fully explore her woven imagery.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

My work is handwoven on non-computerized, manual looms. I start my process with photographs of plants and animals. These photographs are turned into designs that I use as guides to create my imagery. Using plants that are locally foraged or grown in my dye garden, I hand dye very fine silk and linen fibers. Using these fibers, I create my pieces by inlaying row after row of different colored threads on top of the regular fabric threads as I weave.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

Humans have been hand-dyeing and weaving textiles for thousands of years. It is a practice that transcends geographic and cultural divisions. Unfortunately, the modern textile industry has created practices that are harmful to our planet. I am passionate about maintaining traditional and environmentally safe fiber practices. By dyeing with foraged or home grown plants, using non-computerized weaving techniques, and incorporating reclaimed fibers from abandoned textiles it gives me great joy to keep eco-friendly textile traditions alive.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

My handwoven silk pieces are woven with 240/2 and 260/2 silk fibers, which are the finest weight silks that are possible for hand weavers to acquire in this country. Utilizing such fine silk means that every 10" of width in one of my woven pieces holds well over a 1000 threads. The fineness of the silk fibers allows me to weave finer details into each piece.