Today, International Women's Day, we want to celebrate the women who inspire members of our textile community. We put a call out for people to submit a couple of sentences about a woman who inspires them, whether in textiles, design and beyond. Here are just some of the submissions we received. We were so inspired to read everyone's comments and hope you enjoy learning about some of these inspirational women.
Plus, read the to the end of the article for an extra special treat for you and the women in your life.
Eva was an industrial designer and ceramicist, born in Eastern Europe, who migrated to the USA before the Second World War and lived to be over 100. Her book, On Design is an absolute inspiration. She was also the person on whom the experiences of Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon.
Eva took part in a TED talk a couple of years ago (above).
Submitted by Angharad
Image: Christine Miller
Christine has been a fiber artist all of her life. She has been my friend for almost 40 years and has inspired, encouraged, and motivated me. Although weaving is the foundation of our fiber interest, Chris expands her fiber art into many other forms such as stitchery, crochet, knitting, beading, and on it goes. She is an amazing teacher and is deeply dedicated to sharing her knowledge with anyone interested. Chris promotes "fiber as a fine art material for students, teachers, and artists".
Her website is www.explorefiber.com and she is all over social media.
Submitted by Sharon
Dr Bertice Berry
Dr Berry is a mature black sociologist, author, and lecturer who shares inspiring stories on social media giving practical insights into navigating our modern world today. She has perfected the quick delivery of small lessons on being different in world that prizes sameness of decency.
Submitted by Sianna
Claudy Jongstra is an inspirational fibre textile artist. Her practice, based at her farm in The Netherlands, is to develop an understanding of wool fibre and its unique and beneficial properties through creative felt making, eco plant dyeing and wool processing.
Submitted by Liz
We explore Claudy's work in the article Making Her Presence Felt: Claudy Jongstra's political cloth in Issue 84 Surface.
Yoshiko Iwatomo Wada
Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada is an artist, curator, researcher, and an exponent of traditional and sustainable practices in textile production. She is a leader in the Slow Fibre movement which works with regional textile production centers and traditional artisan communities to create culturally, socially and environmentally sustainable practices. At Selvedge we were delighted that she took part in our Resist Dyeing talk in 2021. Find out how to listen here.
"Yoshiko has been such an influential woman in my life. She is so supportive of anyone interested in craft and textile research."
Submitted by Marutio
Olga Arriola de Geng
Her devotion to Guatemalan textiles and her art and books on this subject are inspirational. She made a beautiful collection of miniature Huipiles ( women traditional blouses) from different region of Guatemala.
Submitted by Olga Reiche
Read more about Guatemalan textiles in the article More Precious than Gold: Charming Colonial Towns and Colourful Costumes from Issue 6 Blossom
Image: Amy protesting at the Times Square H&M for the International Labor Rights Forum's Global Day of Action against H&M (May 2016).
Amy is a partner, with Kathy Hattori, at Botanical Colors in Seattle where she is in charge of Social Media and Sustainability. In addition, she is a founding member of The Southeastern New England Fibershed, and is active on social media to promote climate change action via art, community, and changing the ways we consume goods. She leads by example and by enthusiastically participating in all her various communities. She has tireless energy, and has led 85 weekly Zoom meetings for Botanical Colors. She knows and appreciates every person on the call, and instituted an after-call to continue to discuss the actions people are taking, methodology, current projects, and general check-ins.
Somehow Amy also finds time to write a very professional blog focusing on sustainable ventures in the great realm of fiber and textiles.
Submitted by Polly
Image: Scarf by Ann Richards
Ann is a weaver with an extraordinary knowledge of thread and how it works, using properties of threads and spin to produce her innovative textile wearable pieces, which often take shape off the loom, after weaving, like magic.
Submitted by Alison
We loved reading everyone's submissions, thank you. If you would like to take part in the conversation, please comment below.
Show your appreciation for the women who inspire you, whether your best friend, your mother, aunt, a teacher or whoever has impacted your life. When you buy three of our Selvedge tote bags, get another (for yourself!) absolutely free. Use the code IWDTOTE22 at checkout.
This offer will end at 5pm 15/03/22.