Fabrics that I bought on my travels, old clothes and authentic ways of enhancing fabrics, my cycling tour brought me the idea of using animal hairs and a watchful eye makes me look at natural materials just a tad different.

Materials processed in my pouches, coaster(s) or pillow(s)


‘Like the other bedstraws (Galium family), dried cleavers was used to stuff mattresses. It worked well because the little hooks held it together so that it would retain its shape. Cleaver root can be used to make a red dye.’ I red in The Herbalist Bible. The pillow on the photo led its own life…


I got this remarkable material from Paraguay, at a Mennonite farm where I decided to stop my 5 year cycling tour. The cobweb was presented to me by Alan, read the ‘Story behind the pouch‘ To go to the shop for pouch Iparoma

Pokeweed seeds

By trying to dye with pokeweed seeds I ended up using the seeds as a filling. The dye was a spectacular pink but turned out not at all color fast to the cotton I used. To go to the shop for coaster Catpaw.


These little round stones seemed perfect to work with, I picked them at the coast of Spain where we lived. The making of the pouch was done while we toured South America by motorbike: ‘The story behind the pouch’. To go to the shop for pouch Filadelfia.

Glass mirrors

Glass mirrors are used in shisha embroidery. I used cut outs from compact disks and the real ones, which a friend took along her travels from India. There is pouch India and Maryvilla.

Roadside grass

Grass cutted and plucked in Spain and sun dried for several weeks. I made a blogpost about the pillow ‘The story behind the pillow’. The pillow is sold.

Materials waiting to be used

Sumac seeds

While separating the sumac from it’s seed I thought it a pity to throw the tiny seeds out (especially since it was much work to derive sumac). I can certainly use them as a filling. In due time….

Pod seeds

Tree seeds that I found in the Amazon forest of Peru, they are locally called wairuru. The local people used to string them together to make necklaces.


Intended to be used are the wings of bugs. Some bugs I found in Ecuador, others in Europe and I am still collecting them, careful as not to pick the ones who are not dead but sort of sleeping.

Materials that I found along the road while I cycled the South American continent

Wild boar hairs

A rather rare finding came my way in Paraguay: hairs cut from a boar hide. I wrote an interesting blogpost about how I got these boar hairs, while I stayed a week at a military camp at the border with Bolivia, resting before cycling the high Andes.

Ostrich & other feathers

The ending year of my 5 year cycling tour was through South America and it was here that I started to use rather odd materials. Those materials were found in camp spots, in front of my wheels (road kill) or natural occurrences. Read more…

Rabbit & fox fur

Foxes were, sadly, abundantly killed by cars on the empty roads of Argentina. Read more…

Skunk & nutria hair

Animals that are usually not seen up close are wondrous to look at when they are laying dead on the tarmac. I despise(d) car drivers who hit them over though..

Lama, alpaca & sheep wool

In Bolivia I found a lot of wool. At an altitude above 4000 meter I stumbled upon a half deserted home with sacks full of lama and alpaca wool (which I took, admittedly, a tiny bit of), but most of it was taken what I found stuck in barb wire. Read more…

A blogpost of the Bolivian route where I stayed in the semi deserted house ‘Sky control mastered‘.

A blogpost from the Argentinean part of Patagonia ‘The big depressing Patagonian fuss‘.

Cacti needles

Cacti needles enough in South America, they easily break off without harming the plant (as far as I am aware). Result is to see here and a blogpost about the route in Argentina where I was among many cacti. There is a post of the place where I got the needles from ‘Military holiday all inn‘.