Recently we were thrilled that Welp Magazine included the Selvedge Podcast in their list of 20 Best Cultural Heritage Podcasts of 2021.
The podcast, like the magazine, explores the fabric of our lives - that is, the connection between cloth, culture and creativity. Selvedge’s founder Polly Leonard hosts, interviewing artists, designers, NGOs, co-operatives, collectors and just about anyone who wears clothes; “I will be visiting artists' studios, mills and ateliers, as well as climbing mountains, crossing deserts and setting sail around the world (metaphorically of course at present), to find sustainable textiles that celebrate cultural identity, diversity and the heritage of humanity.” Polly has been making, thinking and writing about textiles for 40 years; “The more you learn about textiles, the more you learn how much there is to still discover.”
Read on for some of our favourite past episodes.
Episode 1 tackled upcycling. Polly explains, “With the global textile industry a large polluter and landfills groaning with barely worn clothing, there is no better topic for our first episode than Up-cycling. With its roots in the make-do and mend mentality, that for crafters never really went away, upcycling has the potential to make a tremendously positive environmental and social impact.” If the average life of clothing was extended by just three months, it would reduce their carbon and water footprints, as well as waste generation, by between five and 10 per cent. The recycling of two million tons of clothing per year equates to taking one million cars off the roads.”
In Episode 2 we covered plastic: is it as bad as we think it is? To answer this question, Polly spoke with an Italian designer who combines polyurethane with post-production textile waste, a Senegalese partnership which brings vibrant African design to a European market, and a product designer redefining how we look at plastic bottles. The latter, Alvaro Catalán de Ocón, is featured in the latest issue of Selvedge, Issue 101 Grow, in an article about his work with indigenous artisans to make recycled PET lamps using intricate weaving techniques. Find out how to read more about Alvaro’s work here.
Image: Traditional Swedish Påsöm
In our latest episode, Episode 5, we stop and smell the roses discovering on the way an enduring connection between fabric, flowers and philosophy. Polly talks to a textile researcher who has dedicated her career to preserving and recreating hand-painted chintz, an expert on South Asian textiles, an advocate for the traditional Swedish dress as well as the curator of the Dom Robert Tapestry Museum in the South of France.
Find all of our podcasts on the Selvedge Podcast page.