The Nishiyama Silk company explains their silk production process from reeling silk out of the boiled cocoons through handweaving the final cloth. Their factory video is a three minutes of hypnotic machine motion (along with some adorable socks on the weavers).
Shatteringly Beautiful: The Glass Dresses of Diana Dias-Leão
Diana Dias-Leão combined her fashion design and glass making skills to create couture dresses made of glass, ceramics, wire and silken yarns to stunning effect. Beautiful, but how do you wear a breakable dress? Well, you don't. These were created as art pieces to explore serious issues around personal identity, beauty and human behaviour. The artist believes that anorexia, bulimia, self harm and body dysmorphic disorder are connected with issues relating to image and lack of confidence.[more inside]
The Great Tapestry of Scotland is an embroidered artwork of 160 panels illustrating the whole history of Scotland in the style of the Bayeux tapestry. Over a thousand stitchers collaborated to make the panels, and the design is the largest of three large-scale embroidery projects by Andrew Crummy. Kate Davies visited the Great Tapestry of Scotland at the Scottish Parliament and took some amazing close-up pictures... [more inside]
Raveena Aulakh of The Star got hired at a sweatshop in Bangladesh. Her boss was a 9 year old girl named Meem.
The Memory of the Netherlands is an image library making available the online collections of museums, archives and libraries. The library provides access to images from the collections of more than one hundred institutions and includes photographs, sculptures, paintings, bronzes, pottery, modern art, drawings, stamps, posters and newspaper clippings. In addition there are also video and sound recordings to see and listen to. The Memory of the Netherlands offers an historic overview of images from exceptional collections, organized by subject to provide easy accessSearch 833928 objects from 133 collections from 100 institutions.
Throughout human history and across the globe, whether as intimate artifacts of interpersonal relations or state-level monumental works, textiles have been imbued with political importance. Textiles can communicate and construct status, ethnicity, gender, power, taste, and wealth, and have functioned at the nexus of artistic, economic, and political achievement in human culture. As trade goods, creative medium, and social artifact, textiles have been instrumental in generating, supporting, and challenging political power.The Textile Society of America 13th Biennial Symposium (2012) will explore the crossroads of Textiles & Politics.
The folks at International Pleating have been pleating stuff for four generations: silk, organza, Spandex, eco-fabrics, striped fabric, leather, metallic leather, retired kite-surfing kites, and more, in a variety of methods and techniques including Fortuny and mushroom pleating and that's-more-textured-than-pleated-really effects. When they're not pleating stuff, they blog about pleating — including good info about how to recognize a badly-pleated skirt, how to test your yardage for shrinkage, and a mindblowing level of detail about pleated bias circle skirts — and write free ebooks on topics like how to use machine pleating and cutting and calculating for pleated bias-cut skirts. And when they get bored, they pleat Doritos and potato-chip bags.
What kind of uniform did prisoners transported to Australia in the 19th century wear? How did you keep yourself in underwear despite WWII rationing? Check out the Australian Dress Register--it's more than just dresses!
Be Linen (vimeo) a video commissioned by the European Linen and Hemp Community beautifully shows how flax plants become linen fabric. [more inside]
Framce Trombly creates household goods such as garden hoses, extension cords, and receipts out of cloth and thread.
"King Cotton" created a huge demand for land and (slave) labor that changed early America's borders, population, and economics. But just as cotton affected history, history affected cotton: the story of naturally colored cottons -- brown, green, yellow, mauve, and reddish cottons -- has almost been lost. [more inside]
VADS is a resource for visual art, a huge range of things from students' work to collections of historical art and design. [more inside]
From this collection of framed art made only from the wings of African butterflies to Jan Fabre's beetle shell encrusted sculptures, the centuries-long war between artists their tiny insect enemies continues unabated. But never have I seen a more massive salvo for the artist community than "Terrible Beauty", an installation by Jennifer Angus. Featuring over fifteen thousand insects from the artist's personal collection (!), the exhibit features a series of rooms with textile geometric patterns on the wall created entirely by pinned insects of various forms, hues & sizes. All info on the amazing war between artists & insects found via the amazing Museum of Dust
This painting will not set you agog until you realize it's an early design for a self-righting ship by a man somewhat obsessed. Similarly, this cap pattern is pretty simple, but it represents some deep geek knowledge. In other words, digital artisans can seem pretentiously empty under the physical weight of a carefully considered compulsion.
Shibori is an amazing Japanese textile dying technique--a very sophisticated form of tie-dye, where nubby, lumpy, bizarre things like this are transformed after dying into this fish or these flowers (scroll for detail) or these starbursts. Specifically this odd thing became this (detail). You can find excellent photos and descriptions of the process here, here(scroll down and hold mouse over photo), and here. There is also information at the World Shibori Network . This photo shows partially dyed fabric and here is a video of the preparation for dying. Shibori is very labor intensive (carpal tunnel syndrome-city) and was a one time subject to a sumptuary tax and one form was outlawed by an emperor for being too extravagant. There are many different knots and ties for different patterns--browse here, here(gallery1-7), and here. Shibori can be used to make some striking and detailed images. Diverse examples of shibori --iris, layered squares, waves, kimonos, large bridge banner, subtle black and white winter scene, , a nifty “aerial view” of earth as a tidal pool with hot air balloons (detail of anemones). Don't miss the stunning work of Hiroko Harada (English/Japanese). I especially like Rain In the Forest, There Are Ripples On the Cloth, Seasonal Changes, and this large installation. You can browse more here, but the Japanese page has more.
Gifts & Blessings. The textile arts of Madagascar.