Model wearing a handwoven scarf by North Carolina artist Deanna Lynch.

Deanna Lynch

TEXTILE DESIGNER & HANDWEAVER

Deanna Lynch weaves handmade treasures that are meant to be worn and used. Her weaving journey began when she was just nine years old when her grandfather introduced her to the craft. This was long before she had any formal training, and she still feels a deep connection to him when she’s at her loom. “The connection to my grandfather makes me feel like I am a part of the rich history of textiles,” she says. “It’s an ancient craft built on necessity and infused with the artistry of everyday people. The earth tones and simple lines in my work reflect my feelings about this rich tradition.”

Materials

Deanna’s products are made with natural fibers like wool, hemp, linen, and cotton. Whenever possible, she incorporates locally produced fibers and natural dyes. Being eco-friendly is always at the forefront of her mind, and she carefully considers the impact her fabrics will have on the environment. “When I purchase materials,” she says, “I take into consideration the environmental cost my yarn will have from plant to garment and back to the earth.”

Process

Deanna’s collections begin with ideas about colors, textures, and shapes. Sketches gradually take form as she calculates the yardage and yarn that she will need. “I measure yarn thread-by-thread and then wind it on one of my looms. Once the yarn is on the loom, each thread is pulled through its own heddle and then through the reed. The threading sequence determines the variety of structures that will be available while weaving.”

In addition to weaving, one of Deanna’s favorite activities is harvesting plants for natural dyeing. She grows and processes dye plants as well as forages for wild sources. “I love walking after a good rain to look for fallen branches loaded with lichen. I wander the field behind my house and fill bags with black walnuts, black-eyed Susans, and lichen.”

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