Image: Morocco & France, Calla, MEDIUM BOUCHAROUITE RUG - BAUHAUS (detail)
The virtual doors to the Selvedge World Fair 2021 are open! Today marks the start of our preview day of browsing and sustainable shopping, before the first full day of activities starts tomorrow. There is still time to buy a ticket to learn about the work of over 150 artisans from around the world, join international talks on textile topics during Create Day, and come together as part of a worldwide community of textile lovers.
The Create Day takes place on Zoom on Saturday 4 September over 24 hours and features 12 two-hour talks featuring interviews with artisans, virtual tours of renowned textiles institutions, and discussions from textile experts in subjects ranging from the Royal School of Needlework’s new Stitch Bank, to a discussion about craft and cultural / intellectual property. Although talks take place throughout the day, everything will be recorded and made available to ticket holders after the event, so you can enjoy the World Fair wherever you live, or go back and re-watch anything you missed, or want to watch again. Some of our other content is pre-recorded so there is plenty to enjoy at any time. You can view the full Create Day schedule here.
There are also hundreds of textile objects and intricate pieces to discover in the ‘Artisan Goods’ section of the Selvedge World Fair site this week — here is a taster of some of our favourites:
Morocco & France, Calla, NIKI BABOUCHES - CASA
Paris-based designer Calla Haynes grew up in Toronto and moved to New York to attend the Parsons School of Design. She launched her namesake label CALLA in 2009, establishing a fresh balance between refined and relaxed which was heralded by the fashion press including Vogue and Elle.
Placing CALLA on hiatus in 2015, Haynes focused her attention on collaborations with diverse and high-end brands around the world. This collaborative spirit inspired Haynes to seek out artisans in Morocco to explore the space between European Luxury and Berber Craft. The result is "The Boucharouite Project": initiatives that focus on two key themes of Sustainable Design–recycling textiles and supporting traditional craft. This includes a collection of rugs made in collaboration with female weavers, and a collection of Babouche slippers handmade in the souk of Marrakesh using upcycled vintage Berber rugs.
Bhutan, Yarn & Yathra House, Jiwa Rug in Blue
Yarn & Yathra House weave their homewares and clothing collections from Yathra, a thick hand-woven wool with intricate traditional Bhutanese designs. This fabric emerged in response to the harsh cold of the long winter in an area of the country known as Bumthang, or the Bumthang Valley. People from this region used fleece from sheep, yaks and goats to create a thick piece of cloth to shelter themselves from the cold. Gradually people from all over Bhutan started using Yathra pieces for other things; as presents during special occasions or stitched into clothes to wear during dances at celebrations. In this way, Yathra has found a place as part of Bhutan's culture and economy.
Egypt, Khayamia Art / Asmaa, Lotus Flower Wall Hanging 2
Khayamia Art is a group of artisans that make colourful, canvas tents in the traditional Egyptian style. The Khayamia district, mainly dedicated to the craft of tent making, originated in Cairo as a hub and crossing point to pilgrimage and trade roads from all four corners of the globe. These tents are made with cotton and linen woven fabrics and involve intricate appliqué techniques to create the intricate, geometric designs this craft is known for.
India, Injiri, Char-bagh-93 Green Jacket
Injiri, meaning “real India”, historically stands for “real Madras checkered textiles” which were exported to West Africa back in the 18th century.
Launched in 2009 as a clothing brand by Chinar Farooqui, Injiri believes in the beauty of hand-weaving processes. Injiri as a brand is more about story-telling, the end point is reflective of the journey of many processes. They make clothing for women and textiles for home. The brand focus is on textile development and sustainable usage of materials.
'Every stitch, gather and selvedge in Chinar Farooqui’s designs for Injiri tell a story. Farooqui sees her textiles as text, a hand-crafted tale that’s shaped by artisans and weavers across India. With influences from folk clothing and local dressing styles, complemented by a deep respect for process, Injiri writes a compelling aesthetic narrative.'