Issue 49 Evergreen
CHRISTMAS TIME IS TRADITIONALLY A TIME OF EXCESS – of exuberance, gluttony and overindulgence – but this year we are advocating a more measured approach to the holidays, shifting our focus to the things that matter most and avoiding unnecessary stress. And that includes selfless activities such as gift giving. Yes, it’s lovely to make things from scratch but most of us just don’t have time to abandon the ready-made in favour of filling our kitchens with gallons of home-made jam and hand stitched decorations – that way madness lies. So make this the year of the meaningful gesture, intimate gathering or memorable event.
Some shopping is inevitable so we offer suggestions for the most interesting gifts around. But when it comes to decorating why not take Gina Portman’s advice, and celebrate the abundance of nature? Or up the ante and follow the lead of Katelyn Toth-Fejel and Sasha Duerr, co-directors of the Permacouture Institute, and host a Midwinter feast. Hospitality is a gift in itself and their “Dinners to Dye For” blend naturally-dyed fabrics and delicious food, using the same ingredients for both.
When I sit down with my children to decorate our tree we enjoy the ritual of carefully unwrapping our treasured ornaments. It is the ones with history and a sense of place that we love the most. It is the same with textiles. Aboubakar Fofana’s work, whether a sculptural installation or his collection of table linen, woven from cotton grown in his native Mali and dyed in indigenous indigo, has integrity born of knowledge and an understanding of where things belong, of how and why they have developed. Jeff Garner’s fashion label Prophetik, is also a product of a particular place and time. Garner links the history of his home town, Franklin, Tennessee with his aesthetic vision for sustainable production.
Location is the key to success of many thriving textile mills, from the felted wool produced by Arpin in the French Alps, to the double cloths of Melin Tregwynt in mid-Wales. We celebrate ingenuity, the ability to see potential in what is readily available locally, and see this in the work of the Fibershed project, the Mongolian people’s use of Yak, and the beautiful, sparse home of Ralf Mååg in Halgås, in Dalarna province, Sweden.
At Selvedge we are busy preparing for our Winter Fair, and hope to be able to welcome you on November 10th. We have gathered over a hundred of our favourite antique dealers, designer-makers and suppliers of haberdashery at The Chelsea Old Town Hall and hope it will be a memorable event.
Polly Leonard, Founder