Issue 16 Archive

£28.95 GBP

March/April 2007


“THE PAST IS A FOREIGN COUNTRY” and it seems some designers plan to emigrate there. The lure of history is powerful, compelling and occasionally overwhelming. This issue we look at archives, from the inspirational storehouses of private companies to the textile treasures held in store for the nation. The latter are a resource for everyone to use and enjoy. Yes, they house items that require careful conservation and delicate handling, but we should all feel entitled to don a pair of white gloves. They may seem intimidating from afar but most curators and archivists are working to pass on knowledge and make it easier to access, I hope you will use our listings to discover hidden delights and inspiration.Preserve/ verb (preserved, preserving) 1 to save from loss, damage, decay or deterioration 2 to treat egg by freezing, drying or pickling, so that it will last. Preserving our textile heritage is an enormous undertaking and it is not always straight forward. In the UK we have a rich past, but this enviable history is rarely a living one. Many of the skills we once possessed were lost to the frantic march of ‘progression’. We look with admiration at those countries whose still work in traditional ways and seek to “protect”the skills we ourselves have lost. How often do we stop to ask if these traditional makers would welcome new technologies that might ease their burden and increase their earnings? We must take care not to force others to remain frozen in the past, after all we are textiles lovers not taxidermists!The best efforts work with the first definition, saving past traditions from loss in such a way that they remain relevant and continue to evolve. In this issue we look at indigo in
some depth. Practiced for centuries in Europe as well as in Japan, the current work of Hiroyuki Shinto, a venerable master and artists like Rowland Ricketts and his wife Chinami demonstrate the power of ancient techniques when infused with a contemporary aesthetic. This year also sees the opening of an exhibition that pays tribute to Jenny Balfour Paul's scholarly research into Indigo, enjoy the show in Manchester.Polly Leonard, Founder

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