CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

Collecting and Using Textiles

Many of us are textile junkies.  We travel, we see, we buy and we bring home interesting materials.  Others among us have inherited family textile treasures.  And then some of us find ‘finds’ at antique stores, rummage sales and moving sales.  These are all wonderful pieces but what do you do with them after they come home with you?

Living with ‘interesting‘ textiles can be a challenge, but it would be a shame to rebury theses finds.  As editor of this magazine, I’ve run across some interesting ways of displaying, reusing and enjoying textiles from another era.

for example:

A set of six chair seat covers needlepointed by a favorite aunt- to match the bide's china

A set of six chair seat covers needlepointed by a favorite aunt- to coordinate with the bride’s china. Suyin Stein

Handkerchiefs fashioned into baby bonnets by --Caspery

Handkerchiefs fashioned into baby bonnets by      Janice Caspery

 

Family Heirlooms. A crocheted panel finding new purpose on a tray under glass.

Family Heirlooms. A crocheted panel finding new purpose on a tray under glass. Julie Barbic

 

Carryalls crafted from mexican weaving. Vera von

Carryalls crafted from Mexican weaving. Vera Van Schaick

Family keepsake doily suspended in an embroidery hoop. Tena Frazier

Family keepsake doily suspended in an embroidery hoop. Tena Frazier

Barbie doll outfit fashioned from a handkerchief

Barbie doll outfit fashioned from a vintage handkerchief. Cheryl Debejare

loom harnesses

loom harnesses from Africa

Turkoman saddle bags used as extra seating

Turkoman saddle bags used as extra seating

West African Kente cloth as drapes

West African Kente cloth as drapes

 

Several but not all of the above items are in my stash of interesting textiles.  Previously used but now in storage are a Mexican hammock, enough Tongan tapa cloth to cover a wall and clothing I’ve had made but no longer can wear, Afghan tribal jewelry and lots of baskets.

I also have items of my collection waiting for inspiration.  Saris, Bhutanese wraps ( the women’s national dress), a Nepali robe with blouse and many pieces of embroidery made to adorn blouses.  Clothing with that same embroidery.  Tie dyed clothing from India.  Bobbin lace from Sri Lanka.  Batiks from Africa and Asia.   Oh–and then there is my daughter’s collection of African textiles that are embellished with political slogans, beer ads and health tips.

I’m guessing my heirs will be trying to figure out what to do with those treasures.

The handkerchief baby bonnets and doll clothes as wells the repurposed Mexican weavings are for sale at the Artisans’Co-op in Bodega ,CA

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