For the generation that grew up during the Second World War and rationing, the concept of reusing and repurposing textiles would hardly be a novelty. In the 1940s it was common practice for brides to fashion wedding dresses from parachute silk. Rather than throw worn-out socks away and buy new ones, women would darn them. Children were rarely given brand-new clothes, but had to make do with the hand-me-downs of their older siblings.
Yet at such a time, thriftiness was a matter of survival. Nowadays, in the era of global mass-production and ready-made clothing, the skills required to reuse and repurpose old textiles are not as common as they once were. It is up to textile artists like Mandy Pattullo to remind us of the culture of thrift, into which our mothers and grandmothers were born.
Mandy has collected fabrics all her life. Her artistic creations involve cutting, tearing and unpicking old textiles, only to re-combine them into beautifully intricate collages. She is interested in the creative ways in which people around the world have recycled cloth, and finds the thrifty ethic of Japanese boro and American quilt-making sources of inspiration for her own work.
Her recently-released book, Textile Collage, aims to spread Mandy’s passion for old textiles and upcycling. The book offers guidance on sourcing fabrics, constructing and embellishing fabric collages, and making wearable art out of repurposed cloth.
For those of the opinion that it is never too early to plan for the summer holidays, Mandy will also be giving textile collage workshops at Chateau Dumas from 12 – 17 August 2017.
Please do get in touch for more details.