Wool Scarf

“This scarf was hand-woven in Durban, South Africa – my Mum brought it back for me. I’ve had it for 15 years. It’s made of wool, and it’s become softer with use. It’s also really warm. It’s not necessarily something I would’ve chosen for myself but that doesn’t matter. “I just love it, and it has travelled with me, to Japan… I always take it with me when I’m travelling. There’s something so normal about it, and functional. I loveRead more

tawdry

If something is tawdry it’s old and scrappy but worn as if it were elegant and beautiful. It’s the adjective use of the noun tawdry: a ‘tawdry’, until the late 17th century, was a woman’s necktie The word has been shortened several times: St. Audrey’s lace, a ribbon or necktie sold at the annual St. Audrey’s Day fair, held in Ely on October 17th, was altered in the mid-16th century to tawdry lace (keeping the t from saint). St. AudreyRead more

Rosalind Wyatt

Rosalind Wyatt is a British artist who loves words. Initially trained in calligraphy, she went on to study textiles at the Royal College of Art. Her practice combines text and textile, and she works from her studio in London. Stitch commissions include luxury bespoke gifts for private and corporate clients from around the world, including two stitched garments for Fortnum & Mason of London, which now hang in their boardroom. She has developed her own technique of ‘writing with a needle’ combining textRead more

kaleidoscope – Natasha Lester

Kaleidoscope means ‘observer of beautiful forms’ and was named by the inventor, scientist David Brewster. From Greek, kalos, ‘beautiful’ + eidos, ‘shape’ + skopos, ‘object of attention, to view’.   (Image: photo by Hudson Hintze)Read more

luddite

Since the 1960s the term luddite has meant someone who refused or feared to use new technology. 200 years ago Luddites were an organised group of textile workers who, rather than fearing new technology because it was unfamiliar, worried that their wages would be diminished as mechanised looms replaced hand looms. Between 1812 and 1817 the Luddites destroyed mill machinery – their main target was the stocking frame, a knitting machine. Many of the Luddites were imprisoned or transported toRead more

garance, indigo + gaude

Garance, indigo and gaude are words which refer to the colours produced by plant dyes used in traditional fabric dying. Garance produces a red dye, indigo a blue dye and gaude a yellow dye. Garance refers to a red dye made from varieties of the Madder plant. Common Madder (Rubia tinctorum) was used extensively in French textile production. A problem for French textile workers was getting the red colour developed in France to match the intense red made in IndiaRead more