In the run up to Selvedge World Fair – 3 – 5 September 2020 – a celebration of cloth, culture and creativity, we are profiling some of the 100 artisans taking part. Today, we look at the work of the Multicolores cooperative from Guatamala, Natalie Chanin from USA and Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez from Peru. There are only a few days left to buy Selvedge World Fair tickets at the early bird price of £10. Fair tickets give you access to talks, shopping, demonstrations, articles and interviews as well as a prize quiz.
Multicolores is a rug hooking cooperative from Guatamala with the mission to create economic opportunities for talented and motivated artisans. The group's members design rugs drawing inspiration from the symbols and motifs found in their ‘huipils’ (traditional blouses) and use imported recycled clothing in their work. Their story is told in the book Rug Money by Cheryl Conway-Daly and Mary Anne Wise, which we take an extract from in Issue 95.
Image: Natalie Chanin.
Natalie Chanin’s company Alabama Chanin began early in 2000 when she first created hand-sewn garments from secondhand cotton jersey t-shirts. Twenty years on the company makes and educates, merging design, craft, and fashion. In her refined approach to jersey, Chanin honours the textile traditions of her native Florence, Alabama. “Growing up, I knew our area was rich in cotton,” she says, but it was not until she returned home to complete Stitch, a documentary on Southern quilt making traditions, that she learned Florence's output of cotton jersey made it 'T-Shirt Capital of the World' in the 1980s. Global outsourcing has left the town's textile industry largely defunct but Chanin is proud to produce her line locally.
Image: Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez
We profiled Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez in Issue 68. Here’s an extract: A master indigenous Quechuan artist who spins, weaves and knits in traditional styles, Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez is also a scholar and the director and president of one of the most influential textile organisations in Peru. Born into the millennia-old Inca traditions of weaving in the Sacred Valley, Callañaupa Alvarez discovered her gift for weaving as a young girl. Having honed her craft and travelled the world to speak at universities and museums about the disappearing art of Inca weaving, she established the Centre for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (El Centro de Textiles Tradicionales de Cusco or CTTC).
Visit Selvedge World Fair for more information.