Image: Shibori, Selvedge issue 81.
The Selvedge calendar 2020 is now available. An ideal Christmas gift for textile lovers, the calendar features a different textile or technique every month, inspired by the Selvedge archive. January, February and March feature, in order; Shibori, darning and Toile de Jouy.
Shibori is an ancient resist dyeing technique where patterns are created by clamping folded cloth, and then submerging the carefully pleated fabric in an indigo vat. The result is an intricate network of lines that mimics the complex structures of snow crystals. The craft takes its name from the Japanese verb meaning ‘to wring, squeeze or press’ and has become an umbrella term for over 100 different techniques. Shibori was featured in detail in Selvedge Issue 81.
February features darning samplers from The Netherlands. Darning samplers taught girls the useful skill of mending worn household textiles. Some samplers, however, were made with silk thread and stitches that mimicked woven structures and were a showcase for needlework skills. The sampler shown is from the Museum of New Mexico’s collection, which was featured in Selvedge Issue 87. These small-scale embroidered pieces were transformed into large hand knotted carpets by rug designer Jan Kath; hand-made with contrasting textures of pile versus flatweave to echo (and honour) the original source.
March shows an example of Toile de Jouy, the name given to fabrics printed at the Jouy-en-Josas factory, near Versailles. Factory owner Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf developed etched copper rollers to create complex monochrome rural scenes, usually printed on calico. Toiles de Jouy, or simply ‘toile’ is now a catch-all term for all cottons with this type of repeated surface decoration fashionable in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France, made famous by the palaces of Marie-Antoinette and Empress Josephine. The Musée de la Toile de Jouy was mentioned in Selvedge Issue 65.
For more information, visit the Selvedge Calendar 2020.