With 36 hours of traveling under our belts, it’s fair to say we were all super excited — and me personally quite nervous — to meet our Chinese partners for the first time at the banquet. There, I met Rong Rong. My weaving partner for the next week. She was a tiny girl with large black framed glasses, a dark long bob with a fringe. A beautiful pocket sized version of Scooby Doo’s Velma. The banquet was filled with laughs, awkward moments, conversations lost in translation and fabulous food. We all had a fabulous time starting to get to know each other which made me ever excited for tomorrow.
Monday began with our first visit to Nanshan University to meet our partners. Rong Rong welcomed me into the uni, showing me into the work room, where we would reside for the next week. We began by discussing what weave structures we would be able to create. After Rong Rong decoded my design intentions and I had an insight into her weaving abilities, together we decided on a rib weave structure and began creating a 5cm wide sample.the afternoon, we made our first visit to the local mill to pick up warp yarns. The mill was enormous. After eagerly taking many pictures, we were told not to worry, we will be returning for a tour tomorrow. Choosing and taking the yarns turned out to be quite the debacle for reasons unknown to me as they were discussed in Chinese. My assumption being that we were taking too many… so the mill workers counted and took them away and brought them back three times, and somehow problem solved. We were off with yarns iin tow. Upon return Rong Rong had started our sample, but said the weave structure was wrong and we would have to redo the warp. Whilst Rong Rong figured out the new structure, I tested my weft yarns on the sample.