[Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock] is on the shelf and this issue is all about textiles that play a part in our lives’ traditions. From prayer shawls, to tartans, to Bogolan, read on to explore some beautiful traditions and the projects that celebrate them…
Do you have a textile of some kind that your favorite traditions wouldn’t be the same without? From a family plaid, to a favorite table setting at the holidays, I bet every one of you would be hard pressed to think of an important ritual in you life that isn’t connected to a piece of cloth. Maybe it’s a simple as a favorite pair of jeans for a night out, or as sacred as a prayer shawl passed down from a loved one? Textiles connect us to our communities, our histories and to wordless yet important parts of our identity. Here are some highlights of textiles that speak to traditions all over the world:
Anita Osterhaug’s article Bogolanfini: Wrapped in the Earth explores the gorgeous geometric patterns and traditional production of West African mud cloth, including it’s emergent role in contemporary fashion (photo by Tagelmoust). Osterhaug also writes a thoughtful endnote In Praise of Cultural Appreciation, about issue surrounding cultural appropriation. As we learn from and appreciate the work of cultures other than our own it is more important than ever to be conscious of honoring, crediting, and fairly compensating the artists that have come before us and who are the stewards of living, evolving traditions. We’re grateful to Osterhaug for continuing this important conversation!
Pool-Inspired Towels in Homestead 8/2 Cotton Yarn are a cheerful and fresh 8-shaft design by Connie Westbrook. After finding inspiration in the simple beauty of tile work at her local pool, Westbrook reflects on how her drafts are informed by the many weavers who’ve come before her.
These Chanuka Placemets by Sandee Jaastad are made in simple Homestead 8/2 Cotton Yarn, but they add a special-occasion flair to your holiday table setting. Something to look forward to year after year, these menorah-motif settings are easy to care for and will be a family favorite. What a great gift they’d make!
Sarah Jackson’s Prayer Shawl is woven in elegant 8/2 Tencel Yarn. People of many faiths have variations on sacred cloth used in worship and meditation. This beautiful 4-shaft shawl could be worn for many occasions and the care that went into it would shine through. Jackson’s creative process reflects how valuable it can be to personalize our own spiritual practices through the act of making.
However you approach your crafts and your traditions, let them speak to one another. Let your cloth tell a story that makes all our lives richer.