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Selvedge

An extension of the print magazine’s tone of respect, intelligence and joy in the world of textiles, our blog is a daily contribution to the Selvedge conversation. Featuring exhibitions, people, adventures and opinion, the Selvedge blog is not only a meeting point for the Selvedge community but also an entry point into the world of textiles for those looking for an original and broadening perspective.

African-American Quilts

African-American Quilts

Black History Month is here, and for the United States and Canada this is an annual observance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. And, as many textile enthusiasts will know already, many African-American women such as Dora Smith, Susannah Allen Hunter and Anna 'Jane' Parker are known as some of the world's most exquisite quilters – a craft almost as old as America itself. On plantations and in wealthy households prior to the Civil War, slave owners often used black women for spinning, weaving and sewing quilts that were almost exclusively made for upper class...

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Fake It For Love

Fake It For Love

Paper poppies by Tiffanie Turner Loved ones are expected to pay an astounding total of $2billion dollars on flowers this Valentines day – plus a further $1billion on cards, according to the National Retail Federation. Like it or loath it, this international day of romance has been a lucrative industry for centuries, with the very first Valentine's Day said to have taken place all the way back in 270 A.D during the pagan festival of Lupercalia. Today, many Selvedge readers often opt for homemade flowers instead of store-bought bouquets, and whether it's a paper pansy or a cotton coronation, it's...

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Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

As many of us sign off on our Valentine's Day cards this week, we go back to the 13th century, to discover its origins... There is nothing like love to inspire the written word, and the first European greetings cards were Valentines, sent in Germany in the mid-13th century. The medieval period was less romantic it seems, as cards fell from favour only becoming truly popular with the advent of the penny post in 1840. In the Victorian era, greeting card production became a lucrative industry, a development that coincided with a downturn in fortunes of silk manufacturers who faced...

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The Venice Carnival

The Venice Carnival

As the colourful Venice Carnival comes to a close this year, we turn to Sarah Jane Downing, who explores the festival's glad rags in Selvedge issue 4... The Venice Carnival has been likened to Adam showing God that he could recreate the delights of Eden for himself on earth. But long before Christianity claimed the spring festival of renewal as Easter, there were pagan festivals across Europe celebrating the primeval cycle of fecundity, fruitfulness and death. Many festivals involved masquerade. The leafy Green Man, the brightly beribboned Hobby Horse and Harlequin in his contrasting chequered outfit all played their parts...

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Family Line

Family Line

For Selvedge issue 63, Renata Molho revelled in the talent of the Etro clan...  There are stories that unfold in a linear way, that start from a specific point and, through specific stages, trace a path whose final outcome is quite predictable or, at least, consequential. Telling the story of Etro’s world is instead a kind of ongoing adventure involving ideas, images, and words. It signifies entering a parallel dimension, dominated by a rationale that is wholly original, which shuns conformism. If I had to choose two words to describe Etro, those words would be 'independence' and 'culture'. And if...

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