My textile journey
Bonjour, Bel bonjou,
I have a confession to make. I am a selfish sewer. Oui! I said it!
I absolutely love sewing but I dread working for weeks on a project for someone else while I am delayed in my own creations, and dread the, sometimes, unrealistic expectations that sewing is quick and easy if you know how to. It’s not, unless it is the career path you’re on, and…….it’s not mine.
So what is my career path?!
I am a fabric lover and hoarder and I cannot go near a fabric shop without buying at least a meter of something. But how many times have I got home with a choice I could no longer understand….
I attended a talk on July 28th by Textile Designer Alke Schmidt on her exhibition “Tangled Yarns” https://www.a-n.co.uk/blogs/tangled-yarns It did touched upon the work of Williams Morris and his cruisade for justice in the industry.
I got me to think….
Sewing is good for sustainability but looking at the quantities of fabric I buy, is it still a valid argument? I have never questioned the sources of the fabrics I buy but am I sure my choices are ethical?
And surely a fabric, an outfit for every occasion, as I do, is still a throw-away fashion mentality.
Furthermore why am I so attracted to the raw material I have in my hands? What are my relationship and emotions with this piece of cloth!? And why have I chosen this fabric, today?
It lead me to start exploring textiles and meanings and the senses it evoke in us, along with colours and sensitivity.
We choose our fabrics on two accounts: Visual and touch but could there be more to it?
This is where I want to go: studying textiles and how they move, smell, feel, look, and even sound sometimes. I recently found the nosiest fabric ever: Tulle! Yes Tulle, with pearls attached to it….
How the type of fabric, colour and print choice we make are not a serendipity and may be shouldn’t be if we care at all about being ethical. That would be effective fabric buying on a serious level!
And look what arrived in the post this week!!!! Books, with pages, with information!
I am already hooked on “Textiles, The Whole Story” By Beverly Gordon. This book gives an account of textiles throughout our life spam, it’s spiritual, emotional meaning in different cultures and most importantly raises the profile and value of the humble cloth to higher levels, not just something to hoard and sew later. The second book “Fashion Textiles Now” by Janet Prescott explores the different types of fabric from traditional to eco-production, from wool to milk or coffee fabric (yes really, milk!).
The aim of this journey I am taking? Acquire expertise in textiles, the raw material of the beautiful garments we are crating every day.
The subject is vast but I am ready. Stay tuned!