Lace Day

Lace Day Knitter

Two Hundred Years of Lace Last weekend the knitting needles were clicking in Haapsalu. Each August, for the last five years, the Estonian seaside town of Haapsalu has celebrated Pitsipäev, Lace Day. It’s a charming festival that celebrates the town’s lace knitting heritage. The knitting of delicate lace shawls and scarves has been a significant aspect […]

When Our Ship Comes In

I’ve been reading Barkskins, a new novel by Annie Proulx. It’s set in 17th century French Canada and the British colonies, and it is horrifying and yet completely engaging. I’m struck, as I read, by the way travel by ship defined life in those times. If you wanted to send a message from Quebec to […]

Hats Off, And On

Hats Off

History of Hats Knowing my adoration for the hat in all its forms, awhile back Linda Ligon gave me a splendid issue of Ciba Review from 1940. Ciba was a Swiss textile dye company dating from the mid-1800s. It published its Review from 1937 to 1975 and covered a fabulous range of textile-related topics. My […]

Across Borders

Across Borders

I came back from the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe at the beginning of the week bursting with the joy of it all—the music, the dancing, the color, the artisans and the crowds they had attracted, all embracing the beauty and importance of handmade goods from around the world. At the same time, across […]

Folk Art Friends

Folk Art Friends

Linda and I are at the 13th annual International Folk Art Market  in Santa Fe this weekend. Many of you have been to this magical market sponsored by the International Folk Art Alliance. This year, 200 folk artists and cooperatives from about 60 countries have gathered for an opportunity to sell their work to an ever-growing […]

Broadcloth, Stitches, Seven Centuries, and the World

broadcloth

For seven centuries, the city of Leiden in the southern Netherlands has been associated with woven cloth. During its peak production in the 16th and 17th centuries, Leiden manufactured over 180 different kinds of fabric, employing thousands of textile workers from the Netherlands, Europe, and England. Leiden broadcloth was known throughout the world and the last […]

Yard Sale Huipil

yard sale huipil

The Sale I’m not the kind of person who brakes for yard sales, usually.  But when I see a stack of what looks like handwoven cloth from Guatemala, I pull over. This happened a couple of weeks ago. And it was Guatemalan cloth that I’d spied from the road, a modest pile of slim table runners with […]

Here Be Dragons

ThereBeDragons

Dragon Boats The dragon boats are racing in China this weekend; they’re racing all over the world, actually. The annual Dragon Boat Festival, or Duanwu Festival, is one of the most important traditional celebrations in China, begun about 2,000 years ago to honor the death of poet, Qu Yuan—at least that’s one of the stories. […]

DAM This Is Good: Collections and Crossroads

DAM

It all began in 1927 with the gift of a Kashmir shawl. That shawl was the Denver Art Museum’s (DAM) first recorded non-American Indian textile. In the decades that followed, the museum’s collection grew exponentially. Now, its Textile Art and Fashion Collection holds over 5,000 objects from Asia, Europe, and North and South America. These range from […]

Guatemala Revisited

Gautemala Revisited

In 1946, when WW II had just ended, Mary Meigs Atwater went to Guatemala to look at textiles. Considered the “dean” of the American handweaving revival, she wrote up her experiences in a monograph titled Guatemala Visited, and published it under the Shuttlecraft Guild imprint. You can still get copies today. It makes for fascinating […]

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