The Selvedge World Fair 2021 is here and we are so excited to share our celebration of cloth, culture and creativity with the wonderful textiles community we have here. Read on for a final introduction to just some of the 150 master artisans taking part from 31 August - 5 September.
It’s your last chance to buy a ticket and take full advantage of the fair. Remember all content, including the twelve 2-hour Create Day talks, will be recorded for viewing by ticket holders after the event. Find out more here: Selvedge World Fair 2021
Namibia, Omba Art Trust, Basket Weaving
The Omba Arts Trust is more than a promoter of quality Namibian crafts and art; as a registered member of the World Fair Trade Organisation, Omba supports the sustainable livelihoods of marginalised communities in Namibia. With over 20 years refining and developing traditional and contemporary crafts in rural villages, Omba offers a diverse range of unique products–each with a story to tell:
Baskets from both agricultural and hunter-gatherer communities, are handcrafted from palm leaves and coloured with natural dyes. Numerous traditional styles are carried including bowl-shaped baskets with intricate patterns, gathering baskets with handles, soft baskets adapted from a technique used to make traditional beer strainers and colourful baskets with bead decoration.
To follow the story of Omba Arts Trust, find them on social media here.
Zambia & France, Tribal Textiles, Hand-Painted Textiles
Based in South Luangwa, a remote region of Zambia, Tribal Textiles employ local artisans to create ethically handcrafted home décor pieces. Their hand painted textiles draw inspiration from Africa’s vibrant heritage, blending traditional techniques with contemporary composition and colours.
To further follow the story of Tribal Textiles, find them on social media here.
Bangladesh, Bengal Muslin / Saiful Islam, Muslin Weaving
Over the past six years, Bengal Muslin has researched the origins of this fabric and cultivated a variety of cotton plants on the same riverbanks. They have also held a very popular festival 'Muslin Revival', published a book 'Muslin, Our Story' and produced a film 'Legend of the Loom'. Their initiative is to revive the lost art of fine yarn, high count (200-400) weaving in Bangladesh. Currently, 'new muslin' cloth continues to be produced in a variety of exquisite designs and fineness at the same villages outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, where the cloth was produced in ancient times.
To follow the story of Bengal Muslin, find them on social media here, and watch the trailer of the film 'The Legend of the Loom' below:
Brazil, Instituto Xepi, Straw Weaving
Instituto Xepi is found in the Kaupüna village, south of the Xingu Indigenous Territory, in the municipality of Gaúcha do Norte, Mato Grosso, in the heart of Brazil. Their village was founded in 2014 by just two families, and over five years, they have grown to include more families. Today there are 60 people from 13 families, including children, young adolescents, and adults. Instituto de Arte Indígena Brasileira Xepí was founded in 2019. Their goal is to value the originality of Indigenous art by legally commercializing it. They believe that Indigenous art deserves to be recognized as a part of Brazilian culture.
With a strong desire for their art to reach other cultures and be known and valued, and enrich everyone who meets it, the artisans use consumer pieces that are part of everyday life. They also hope to also bring knowledge about the history and rituals of their Indigenous communities. The crafts produced by Instituto Xepi include wood, ceramics, basketry, and plumage–to name a few. Both women and men take part in the artisanal production; the baskets and mats presented for the Selvedge World Fair are part of the female output.
All items produced, in addition to being made for sale, are for everyday use. They function as a social demarcate and have a cosmological dimension, some of which are used by shamans to transcend the material world.
To follow the story of Instituto Xepi, find them on social media here.
Czech Republic, Alice Klouzková, Indigo Dyed Clothing
Alice Klouzková from the Czech Republic works with indigo printing and dyeing. She paints and prints her own patterns in order to make different garments such as simple shirts, trousers and dresses as well as smaller accessories such as bags and brooches, mainly out of cotton and linen. Her work portfolio also includes pillowcases, tablecloths and placemats.
Indigo print production in the Czech Republic has a long tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. The greatest boom was in the 19th century when there was an indigo print workshop in practically every town, but today there are only two indigo block printing workshops in operation in the Czech Republic, both of whom work directly with Klouzková. She became interested in indigo print in 2012 thanks to her doctorate at the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague where she researched the use of indigo print and other traditional textile techniques in contemporary fashion design. The indigo print is at the core of her work. She doesn’t only use indigo extensively in her work but also champions it in her community through exhibitions, lectures and workshops.
To further follow the story of Alice Klouzková, please find them on social media here.
England, Megan Ivy Griffiths, Embroidery
Megan Ivy Griffiths is a pattern designer, illustrator and embroiderer who is based in the glorious green countryside of Hampshire. She harbours an ardent passion for the beautiful and unusual and is inspired by whimsical fairy-tales and calm ambles through forests and fields.
Her work is a concoction of tenderness, gentility and intricacy. Megan makes fabric animals that seem to have jumped out of mythical worlds. They include farmers, mermaids, lions, llamas and rabbits - all dressed in Megan's beautiful decorative folk embroidery. She also creates characters inspired by folk tales. In this way, her stitches tell stories; as a trained illustrator she has been taught to draw, as well as using a pen or pencil, she uses needle and thread to create captivating characters.
To follow the story of Megan Griffiths, please find her on social media here.
India, Aeshaane, Block Printing
Aeshaane is an award winning slow fashion brand that celebrates the work of rural craftsmen from rural communities in India. Founder Neesha Amrish began her journey as a creative passion to embrace colours, textures, and weaves that are not only wearable but also sustainable. The humble explorations in hues, pattern and organic silk began in her backyard with the simple thought of creating ‘cruelty-free' fabric.
Aeshaane creates visual masterpieces using the ancient technique of hand block printing on Ahimsa silk – a cruelty free product. This global brand blurs the line between traditional and modern by paring artisanal techniques with striking geometrical patterns. Free from the burden of seasons and trends, these exquisite pieces include silk scarves, loungewear, and upcycled jewellery crafted from natural fibres, in designs that remain striking and relevant for years to come. Aeshaane is stocked all over the world and has even been showcased at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
To follow the story of Aeshaane, find them on social media here.
Mali, Le Ndomo, Natural Dyeing
Le Ndomo was founded in 1990 with the aim of reviving the traditional dyeing practices that had fallen from use due to the impact of colonialism on textile traditions in Mali. Today, Le Ndomo is a workshop specialising in vegetable dyeing using ancestral dyeing techniques on organic cotton fabric, as well as being a social enterprise that gives technical training and teaches local knowledge to young people who have not had the chance to study.
Le Ndomo was featured in Selvedge Magazine Issue 88, Geometric.
United States, Sweet Tree Hill Farm / Kathleen Oliver, Knitting
Sweet Tree Hill Farm is located in the hills of Central Virginia, in Cumberland County. Arriving on Christmas in 2007, Kathleen Oliver has been working hard to renovate this 100 year old property of 20 acres with many old pecan, walnut and pear trees, hence the name of the farm. The old house is a bungalow style farm house which overlooks an 8 acre 20 foot deep pond. The farm’s mission is to provide American-raised Shetland yarn, unique original patterns, and artisan quality clothing such as socks made on the farm where the wool is grown.
Oliver raises Shetland and Gotland sheep, heritage breeds that are from the Northern Short Tail group with Viking beginnings. She designs yarn from their wool and uses the yarn to knit socks. These socks are knitted on a hundred year old sock machine. They are either knitted with the natural colours of the wool or Kathleen hand dyes the yarn. Some designs have Fair Isle details on the cuff while others are less traditional. The wool is minimally processed with light washing and spun into a 2-ply yarn with small additives for softness and durability, like Merino and nylon. Socks are then knitted one at a time on an old Legare 400 machine, manufactured around 1900-1920. Each machine was built by hand with metals that are no longer used in manufacturing. The socks are then washed, steamed and designed with comfort and function in mind. They are packaged with washing instructions and include a little bobbin of extra yarn if future darning is needed.
To follow the story of Sweet Tree Hill Farm, find them on social media here.
Buy tickets for the Selvedge World Fair 2021 here. Remember, subscribers receive 50% off the price of a standard ticket. Find the discount code in your magazine or in our newsletter.