Browsing articles from "August, 2009"

The Ann Dunham Collection –

Aug 28, 2009 | Leave a Comment

The Textile Museum in Washington D.C. briefly served as the final stop for a national tour of the exhibition titled A Lady Found a Culture in its Cloth: Barack Obama’s Mother and Indonesian Batiks. Although the show is no longer on display you can still get a small taste of it here with NPR’s write-up, audio story and slide show on the exhibition.

The Loaded Trunk –

Aug 26, 2009 | Leave a Comment

A virtual trunk show awaits at The Loaded Trunk – !

via a helpful comment at The Style Files.

Pomegranate Textiles –

Aug 23, 2009 | 1 Comment

Another source for suzanis and ikats — as well as a few carpets.

Textiles in the News –

Aug 22, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have written an inspiring (and eye-opening) article – The Women’s Crusade – for this weekend’s The New York Times Magazine. It begins with a profile of Saima Muhammad (pictured above) who, with the help of a micro-finance loan, was able to begin an embroidery business that utterly transformed her life.

Photograph by Katy Grannan for The New York Times.

Tribal Trappings –

Aug 20, 2009 | 2 Comments

Holy smokes, tribal trappings is a good website! It has lots and lots – and lots – of textiles (keep looking for the “more” button at the bottom of each page, I missed that the first time around). There’s also  interesting / informative detail given about many of the different categories of textiles shown. I’m enamored with several of the Chinese pieces, in part because they’re really expanding my idea of what a “Chinese” textile might be.  The image above is a Chinese bridal blanket made by the Maonan ethnic group.

Mirella Spinella –

Aug 18, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Venetian based textile designer Mirella Spinella has an amazing collection of  jewel tone velvets in patterns that will put you in the center of the spice trade, circa 1500.

Within the United States you can purchase (or pine over) her wares at Sue Fisher King. Prices are not for the faint of heart.

Happy Stripes and Wanderlust –

Aug 16, 2009 | Leave a Comment

I’m having trouble conjuring up a more idyllic domestic vision (and/or get-away) than the one above, provided by this Times Online slide show of Josie Curran’s houseboat on the Thames. She has lots of carpets from Vanderhurd Studio (a company previously posted about here) as well as textiles gathered up in India and Morocco, the later of which are featured in the picture above. Inspired by the stripes, I found these happy dhurries from Kathy M. Ireland, provided by Elson & Company.

Commemorative Cloth –

Aug 14, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Just back from Seattle and saw some interesting “commemorative cloths” featuring political leaders on display at the Seattle Art Museum, including one of Obama (though not the one shown here). It’s an interesting tradition and one I’d love to see more of  state-side. Here’s a link to a write-up of the history of this type of fabric along with several examples.

The first paragraph begins this way:

“Fancy print” textiles produced in Europe for the markets of colonial Africa emerged in the 1920s as a cheaper substitute for so-called “Dutch wax” resin-resist prints. Although they were of lower quality and the design was only on one face, they had one distinct advantage which soon opened up a new range of decorative possibilities and hence a novel social role. Unlike wax prints, the technology of fancy prints allowed for the reproduction of photographic imagery. Very quickly the technique was adopted to produce what have become known as commemorative cloths.

The textile shown in the image above (via True Up) is a more graphic take. — I know we’re well past the election at this point but sheesh, I think Obama needs some positive vibes at the moment! So yes, “hooray for the president”.

For more actual wax prints visit previous posts on Vlisco and Ananse Village.

August Recess –

Aug 5, 2009 | Leave a Comment

I’m heading off to a land of wild roses and sleepy roads and will be back on-line in about ten days!

Dosa’s Jamdani –

Aug 5, 2009 | Leave a Comment

A carry-over discovery from my previous post is that David Earp’s charity Shuktara supplies handmade textiles to Dosa, a company started by clothing designer Christina Kim. Part of Kim’s creative mission is to recycle and reuse fabrics to the maximum degree possible and she accomplishes this beautifully in her work with jamdani fabrics from India. (I think a safe / simple definition of jamdani is that it’s a very finely woven cotton, typically used for saris.)

Dosa’s website isn’t set up for linking directly to individual pages but if you’d like to read more about the history of jamdani (very interesting!) and how Dosa is using it today go to the home page, then “special projects”, then “life of jamdani”.