Sunday, 23 October 2016

slow fashion october: well worn

last week's topic for slow fashion october was well worn, those items we use that have passed through generations and been put through the ringer and maybe have been mended a hundred times and still get used. both sides of my family have a history of working with textiles, which is an incredible source of inspiration for me, so there are quite a few items in my possession that have made their way through multiple pairs of hands before getting to mine. i'm going to focus on some items i've recently inherited - the linens from my nanny and poppy's home.

a lot of families probably have doilies and old linen table runners in their lives. they've fallen out of fashion, but the amount of work that went into them is incredible (especially when you think about all the ones selling for 25 cents in secondhand shops). in my nanny's house, we actually know who made the majority of them - auntie mac (she even embroidered an m on the doily above!). i'm going to be making a lot of different projects with the textiles, but to start with, i've got these couple of linen table runners and one linen and crochet doily. i dyed one of the runners with black walnuts, and the other has been ecoprinted with lichen that grace foraged in nunavut and gifted to me. i ecoprinted the doily with lichen as well, and dyed it in the black walnut bath. the runners will be part of my altars at home, and the doily will be going to a dear one.

i dyed up some yarn with the black walnut baths too. silks take on natural dyes in the most beautiful muted way.

other items that i love and cherish are my nanny's silver thimble (which i've actually used for leather work recently) and my mum's thigh-high legwarmers (i need to mend them again, but they're from the 70's and literally the best winter layer that i own). i also have inherited or been gifted yarn, notions, and fabric from various family and friends in the last few years, most of which hasn't been used yet. i always feel like if i'm making an item from materials with a story, the finished item should be able to have stories to match. which inevitably means something that is beautiful and can also be used or enjoyed on a regular (daily) basis, and that i will either use or that will be given to someone else who appreciates it the way that i would. i suppose this just kind of supports my stash/hoarding habits...

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