Textile stories

Maggie Baxter ✿ Peeling walls and tattered ledgers - Maggie Baxter shares new works that use embroidery to evoke the textures of time she has found in India.
Annika Ekdahl ✿ From still to slow life - The winner of the Kate Derum Award for Small Tapestry, the Swedish artist Annika Ekdahl, translates the history of Vanitas painting into fibre.
Take Time ✿ A momentary exhibition of tapestries - Isabelle Mackay-Sim shares work from tapestry artists in a Canberra exhibition.
Sairi Yoshizawa ✿ The colours of eucalyptus - Sairi Yoshizawa's recent award-winning work applies a particularly Japanese approach to Australian nature, revealing the rustic beauty of eucalypt dyes.
Please give up your seat for local design - New seat designs were recently announced for Melbourne's trains. As part of our Crafted City campaign, we seek the opinion of Alasdair MacKinnon about the significance of this decision.
Sera Waters ✿ Dazzleland - Sera Waters "justice-driven" exhibition stitches together a new canvas for dreams of home in an ancient land.
Julie Ryder ✿ Hidden Sex - Canberra textile artist Julie Ryder shares her series of beautiful works that reveal the subterfuge of sea plants and parallel hidden place of women in scientific history.
Re-Threading the tapestry of an arid topography: A return to Kutch with Maggie Baxter - Gopika Nath returns to Kutch to reflect on the enduring embroidery culture and distinctive collaborations of Maggie Baxter.
Nations unravelled and re-woven - Sanne Vaassen unravels flags and asks artists from that country to re-weave the threads into a new tapestry.
Linda Brescia: Holding Up The Sky - Kath Fries reflects on the work of Linda Brescia who monumentalises and memorialises hidden domestic labour.
Pathways through The Social Outfit - Eloise Rapp interviews Joanne Morton from the Social Outfit.
Biculturalism at hand: The Australian-Malay quilt - Soraya Abidin writes about her work with Seed Stitch and her journey as a Malay-Australian.
アイヌの手仕事:愛と祈りの布作り - アイヌの布が持つ不変の特質の最たるものは、作り手の愛情を留めおき、そこに込められた祈りによってアイヌとアイヌとをつなぐところだ。長谷川の言葉にもあるように、この祈りが布に命を吹き込み、それが力となって使い手や持ち主に働くのだ
淡路・阿波人形浄瑠璃の衣裳が生きていた景色 - 日本には、人形浄瑠璃という芸能があります。『浄瑠璃』というのは、物語を義太夫節で語り、三味線の伴奏が入る話芸です。これに合わせて人形を巧みに操って演技させることから、この名前がつけられています。およそ、500年もの歴史があります。2008年、ユネスコの無形文化遺産に、同じ流れをくむ文楽とともに、能楽・歌舞伎と並んで指定され、世界に名だたる日本の伝統芸能となりました
Quarterly Essay ✿ Of time and the city - In a lyrical tribute to mindful living, Kathryn Bird and Ross Gibson find in Kyoto a beauty borne of skill and care.
Do you know what this textile from Nagaland is? - Please note this query about a sash from the Indian north-east state of Nagaland. 
Eucalypt meets indigo in Kanazawa – with gold leaf - Photographer Siri Hayes travelled to Kanazawa to combine Australia eucalypt-dyed threads with those in Japanese indigo.
Throwing shadows from the sun: Spacecraft’s botanical prints - Eugenia Lim examines the Spacecraft upholstery commission, applying a new tradition of wattle prints to Boyd furniture.
Folding Indigo: Keiko Amenomori-Schmeisser - Caren Florance writes about the shibori artist Keiko Amenomori-Schmeisser whose work expresses the richness of indigo.
Ainu textiles: Cloth weighted with affection and prayer 🇯🇵 - ann-elise lewallan shares her research on the cultural context of Ainu textiles and Kaizawa Tamami explains her design practice
From Venice to Kyoto: Glass reflections of obi under the moonlight - Shoko Aono presents a poetic collaboration of Kyoto obi merchant, Kondaya Genbey, and Venetian glass artist Laura de Santillana
Itohen universe: A new generation textiles workshop - Itohen Universe is a Kyoto workshop of young weavers who seek to keep skills of kimono alive today
Intuitive Thread: The Beauty of Process in Japanese Textiles - While living in Kyoto, Eloise Rapp found four textile artists using traditional techniques in new ways.
Of Time and the City 🎧 - Kathryn Bird and Ross Gibson find in Kyoto and beauty borne of skill and care
Manuela López-Mateos ✿ Como es tu enagua y tu huipil? - One of Garland's Zapotec community reflects on the linguistic diversity of Oaxaca, and how the language of the Ikoots is reflected in the textiles they wear. (See English translation below)
Natalia Toledo ✿ My skin bursts with the flowers etched upon my dress - Natalia Toledo is one of the strong female Zapotec voices that can be heard from Oaxaca. She gives voice to a consciousness that inhabits the "craft classic" of the huipil.
Making memory ✿ The Huldremose woman today - Lisa Sharp writes about three textile artists who attempt to weave memories into their work. Reminiscent of Kim Mahood's essay on an anthropogenic art, she begins by invoking our wonder at the deep time found in museums.
Thanks giving in Australia: Eva Heiky Olga Abbinga’s Rajah Quilt - Kevin Murray describes a project that makes connections across time to the beginning of settlement and space with Aboriginal and craft guild collaborations
The quilts of Jess and Cynthia Johnson: A mother-daughter partnership - Sophia Cai talks to mother and daughter about how they work together to create such vibrant art quilts.
The linking object: A textile mourning ritual - Mary Burgess outlines a practice of mourning through ritualised recycling of textiles.
Can Suzhou Embroidery be contemporary art? - Anying Chen discusses the Suzhou embroidery produced by Yao Huifen for the China Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2017, and considered whether it would be considered contemporary art from a Chinese perspective.
Weaving the feathered serpent - Yunuen Perez recounts her journey across the Pacific and the feathered serpent she takes with her.
Woven histories of Chiapas and Oaxaca - Ansie van der Walt reviews books on textiles of Chiapas and Oaxaca
Slow made tradition in Oaxaca - Ehren Seeland connects the intensive making of mole sauce to the textile crafts renowned in Oaxaca
Celebrating the huipil – From past to present - Ehren Seeland reflects on collaborations with artisans in Oaxaca making the iconic garment which eventually became a wedding dress
Offerings for absent friends: An interview with Ro Cook - Mark Stiles talks to a Sydney textile artist of twenty years experience on hemp works from her latest exhibition, inspired by the Hmong culture.
KUTCH: a visual identity for a radiant people - Ishan Khosla reflects on a graphic design project using the vibrant crafts that belie the parched and bleak salty land they live on
Proyecto “Las Fábricas” – Last words and weaves in Santiago - Constanza Urrutia Wegmann describes an epic work to remember the death of Salvador Allende through the history of a textile factory in Santiago, Chile
Mola, molas, mola-ing with the Kuna Yala in Panama - Bridget Nicholson she discovers how a textile like mola can be so central to a culture.
An ancient Good Friday all-female rite with a fashion twist - Anna Battista has rare access to the dressing of the Virgin Mary in Chieti, Italy.
A semiotic thread: Maya Traditions Foundation’s Textiles Tour in Guatemala - Ann Fuata shares images of her journey to Guatemala to learn weaving with the Maya Traditions Foundation.
Ankara print histories alive in the streets of Johannesburg - Belinda Cook explores the revival of home-grown African fashion on the streets of Joburg.
Washed ashore: Art works from the Indian Ocean - Gopika Nath mends a life as shells along the Indian Ocean
Batik and tenun as sustainable textiles in East Java - Janet Teowarang interviews Melie Indarto, the owner of KaIND, the sustainable textile in Pasuruan, East Java.
Developing fabric designs at Ikuntji Artists - Chrischona Schmidt recounts the new collections of screen-printed fabrics coming from this creative central Aboriginal community.
Material culture in Arabia: Bedouin women and the art of sadu weaving - Laila Al-Hamad identifies the austerity of a Bedouin life as the inspiration for Arab design
Smile for the embroidery: Abdul Abdullah and DGTMB - Abdul Abdullah talks about his collaboration with Indonesian embroidery workshop DGTMB
It begins with a pomegranate: Sirjan kilims by Mahjabin Ilkhanipour - Mahjabin Ilkhanipour is a weaver from Sirjan, recently made a World Craft City for Kilim Weaving. She tells the story of her first rug, based on the pomegranate.
Warp & Weft – a selection of textile-ish NZ artists - Garland was launched in Ōtautahi Christchurch with the exhibition Warp & Weft, which featured extraordinary textile-related works from artists in Aotearoa New Zealand. We'd like to share a selection of those works with you.
Love Thy Labour, by Kay Abude - Kay Abude is an artist who seeks to honour her family's experience as piece-workers from South-East Asia. Born into a life where factory labour is no longer a necessity, she reproduces the meditative and social enjoyment of work in her art performances and exhibitions.
Katna’s Kantha: Stitching a future - This December, Katna’s Kantha by Street Survivors India will make their debut at ARTISANS’ with a collection of quilts, saris, dupattas and stoles in silk and cotton.The Street Survivors India project was founded by Shabnam Ramaswamy in Murshidabad in 2004 and employs 1500 women in 50 villages. At 19, Shabnam escaped domestic violence, living in impoverished conditions while trying to support two children. She overcame these challenges to eventually become a social entrepreneur. Shabnam started Katna’s Kantha, to provide women with education and financial independence, reviving a local skill unique to the women of Katna. Today their kantha embellishes bags, stoles, saris and dupattas all made by upcycling vintage saris, and turning rags into textile riches.
Knotting culture: the muka of Rowan Panther - Tryphena Cracknell considers the way Rowan Panther has interpreted the traditional muka fibre within the technique of lace-making.
Knot Touch: From greenhouse to gallery - Jaqui Knowles explains the ways in which the NZ Maritime Museum has unraveled the potential of Jae Kang's tomato plant installation.
A visit to TÜR Studio - Jane Groufsky visited weaver Christopher Duncan and designer Joseph Yen in their welcoming TÜR Studio on K Road, Auckland.
My grandmother’s hands: Nina Oberg Alaifea and Stephanie Oberg - Nina Oberg visits the Avon Loop community and discovers the tīvaevae of Alaifea and Stephanie Oberg.
Turkey Red on India Street - A fascinating collaboration between India and Scotland around the mythical dye, Turkey Red.
Galeecha: Cultural Textiles Design -   This exhibition is a marvellous sequel to Liz Williamson’s article Sky’s the limit: The Cultural Textiles Rug Project Galeecha: Cultural Textiles Design is an exhibition presenting work designed by students enrolled in the 2017 Cultural Textiles course which ran in Gujarat, India in January / February 2017. One of the course projects involves students designing for handblock-printed rugs or yardage. Having undertaken a course in Gujarat, India, students translate patterns and motifs of their experience in India into designs for rugs or yardage. Selected designs will be block printed by hand with natural dyes onto cotton dh Source: Galeecha: Cultural Textiles Design
Dee Zines: Textile adventures - Sanaz Fatouhi is inspired by the way Dee Zines has made a life from textile adventures across Asia.
The Persian House - It was for about more than a year that the idea of introducing and displaying a contemporary "Persian house" at the Craft Fair was discussed with the Cultural Heritage Organization. Finally by July in this year 2017, the 28th Tehran Handicraft Exhibition contemporary "Persian house" was presented, in collaboration Mr Anooshfar, the Art Center Gallery and the artists.
Jessica Ogden: Still - Jessica Hemmings reflects on an innovative fashion exhibition involving an autobiographical display based on a curatorial conversation between the artist and designer Jessica Ogden and Professor Carol Tulloch.
The embroidered house - A project at A Casa museu do objeto Brasileiro, São Paulo City, commissioned local crafts from across Brazil to create a house of embroidery
Global Indigenous Runway: Lisa x Verner x Sarah - Global Indigenous Runway involved a three-way collaboration between an Indigenous artist (Lisa Waup), fashion designer (Ingrid Verner) and retail manager at Craft (Sarah Weston). The results take two-dimensional designs onto the body and into the world.
The Elephant Shark story: batik between Java and Bali - Marty Hope attempts to revive the old days of Bali by returning to the craft of batik, impressed with the efficiency of Javanese workshops.
Claudia Fernandez: Ceremonia - Madeleine Kelly's article about Claudia Fernandez reveals practice that oscillates between that of an artist who circulates objects and a curator who heals the wound modernity inflicted on hand-made creations. Her work responds to a range of Mexican crafts.
Flores: The skin of tradition - Katharina Paba is a natural indigo dyer and weaver from Bajawa on the island of Flores. In the 1990s, she had a series of dreams in which she was told to make a lawo butu beaded textile with an ancestral ship on a field of elephants. She made the textile, and placed it on consignment with an antique dealer in the town of Ende. Within a few months she fell ill, and for years she went to modern and traditional doctors without success, until a medium told her that her ancestors needed the textile she had made. After a hurried trip to Ende to recover the textile, Katharina’s whole clan had to perform an elaborate ceremony to install the textile […]
A social fabric: Tais weaving in Timor-Leste - In the far-east of Timor-Leste, where the road narrows to one lane overhung with vegetation, where crocodiles still lurk in the rivers, and where freedom fighters were born, lies Lospalos. It’s a small town of about 17,000 people that tells its story openly.
Charlotte Haywood: Weaving ideas - Lisa Cahill writes about Green Asylum, in which Charlotte Haywood continues a personal investigation into the Australian landscape: colonisation, representation of history, survival, and her interpretation of “flux” that includes questioning “meanings, values, ethics, landscapes, currencies, architecture, people and language”.
An invitation to create: The Deeper Voice of Textiles - Tim Johnson tells of a project inviting men from widely different businesses to "play" with the materials of their trade, using timeless basketmaking techniques.
The time-honored Ashavali brocades of Gujarat - Vishu Arora finds a workshop in Gujarat India that is successfully continuing a textile tradition more than 500 years old, thanks to the magical waters of Lake Kankariya.
A textile selfie, with love from Rajasthan - Fiona Wright weaves a story that combines stencil art, Indian block printing and selfies. And it's all in the family.
The Tapestry Couch: healing and new beginnings at heart of refugee arts project - Carolina Triana introduces tapestry artist Sayd Mahmod, who leads a project to create a tapestry couch as a symbol of welcome to Sydney
Mutagenesis: Wiring up Dutch tradition - Jeanette Stok translates the traditional Dutch Hardanger embroidery into wire sculpture
Return to the source: Women’s work thrives in Utopia - Michelle Montgomery follows the story of Willie Weston fabrics, which helps return indigenous images from Utopia back to their craft roots
Creative currencies in the cupboard: Cecile Williams in Denmark - Kevin Murray travels to the village of Denmark on the south-west coast of Australia to witness the world of Cecile Williams, a fibre artist whose investment in the material currencies of everyday life bears fruit in an amazingly vibrant community.
From village to suburb: How Karen weavers retain their culture as art - Pauline Tran describes the way Karen refugees in Australia have been able to use their weaving skills through collaboration with Sara Lindsay and the Australian Tapestry Workshop.
Sharing silent conversations through craft with Samorn Sanixay - Harriet Watts listens in to the silent conversation of Samorn Sanixay, who brings simple beauty of Laotian textiles to Australia, along with a basket of fresh garden produce..
The Rohingya story in Thailand, through embroidery - Jakkai Siributr travels to Switte, in the Rakhine province of Myanmar, where the Rohinga begin their journey as refugees. The embroideries that tell this story involve a conversation between different ethnic perspectives in contemporary Thailand.
From Isan to Paris with silk and water hyacinth - M.l. Pawinee Sukhaswasdi Santisiri shares her journey to the northern province of Isan in her quest to develop products in silk and water hyacinth for the Paris market.
A new festival for Madagascar, the home of wild silk - Indrasen Vencatachellum, long time Director of UNESCO's Craft and Design Programme, introduces a new festival of natural dyes and textiles for Madagascar.
Barbara Mullan: A life with Gujarati textiles - Ansie van der Welt writes about Barbara Mullan's life long affair with Gujarati textiles
Sky’s the limit: The Cultural Textiles Rug Project - Liz Williamson describes an ongoing exchange with rug block printers in Gujarat who are commissioned to produce designs from Australia. The results show a wide-eyed view of India, such as kites in the skies over Ahmedabad.
Spinning a Yarn Unparalleled - Gopika Nath reviews Saiful Islam's history of muslin. She finds it a compelling and epic account of the extraordinary skill involved in this lightest of textiles, as well as a tragic tale of the damage that came with British colonisation.
The kediyun: A slow turn for fast fashion - Intrigued by the kediyun, a Rabari traditional upper garment, LOkesh Ghai apprentices himself to a traditional tailor. Along the way, he learns an important lesson for contemporary fashion.
Is Gandhi still alive? A journey to Surkhama - A young craft writer wonders where the spirit of Gandhi might be found in India today. Tanya Dutt hears of a remote village named Surkhama renowned for its handwoven rugs. Will Gandhi be there?
The rare art of Mumbai’s Parsis - Priyanka Kochar uncovers the rare embroidery of Mumbai's Parsis. She finds a combination of Persian and Chinese influence in the textiles of this declining yet powerful ethnic group.
Craft classic: New moves for the old sari - Border&Fall is a fresh force in Indian craft and design. This Bangalore agency has initiated a number of programs to promote the handmade to a new generation of consumers and users. We hear from its founder Malika Verma Kashyap aboout the recently crowd-funded How to Drape Film Series, which will promote this traditional dress by documenting 84 ways in which it can be worn.
Double Happiness - The founder of Pop Craft Studio, Pauline Tran, reveals the inspiration of Double Happiness, a way of realising the love for Peking Opera in handmade objects for a Melbourne suburb
For the love of Lao – Studio Naenna - Ansie van der Walt profiles Patricia Cheesman, the founder of Studio Naenna, a remarkable business that now provides work for weavers from northeast Thailand and Laos. It began when she was charmed by Laotian hospitality.
Muslin. Our Story – Saiful Islam - An extract from a new book by Saif Islam about the most diaphanous of fabrics, muslin.
Hangout with Gopika Nath - Through art collecting, tourism and gift giving, precious handmade objects move around our world. To help tell the stories behind these objects, Garland brings together leading voices from our region.
A map for the embroidered garden - Gopika Nath's essay draws on a lifetime of learning in the enduring power of craft. Here's a quick guide to some major influences in her essay.
With the tip of a needle - Melinda Rackham looks into the Guildhouse Traditional Crafts program, and finds how some migrants to Australia are building new lives for themselves from the craft skills they brought with them.
The art of turban tying - While the Phulkari is a textile associated specifically with the life of women in the Punjab, the turban is a way of wrapping textile that is important to both genders. Thanks to Adelaide artist Daniel Connell, we learn about what the turban means to Sikhs, and how it is part of their every day life.
Quarterly essay – Reclaiming the Lost Embroidered Garden - Unlike block printing, weaving and other textile arts, embroidery work such as Phulkari is heavily invested with the passion and presence of the person handling the needle and thread.
Craft ethics: Finding a moral compass in a harsh terrain, by Ashoke Chatterjee - News has gone around the world of this spectacular V&A display of textiles from the subcontinent. Among the exhibits are examples of contemporary design that demonstrate the vitality of crafts that reflect today’s aspirations. Controversy has emerged on a particular exhibit. It draws on an Ajrakh past, reflecting a leading designer’s effort at innovation using contemporary design and non-traditional production.
Pohon Budi – the Tree of Life exhibition in Malaysia - Edric Ong talks about the inspiration behind the exhibition on tree of life motive, Pohon Budi, that he curated with Manjari Nirula.
Heritage Chic: The duality of tradition and innovation in the Kanjivaram silk sari of Tamilnadu, India - Kala Shreen is struck by the impact of bling on traditional Kanjivaram silk saris in Chennai.
Geodenim ornament from the streets of Medellín - Alejandra Ruiz uses denim in jewellery as a way of reflecting life in Medellín, Colombia.
Yayasan Tafean Pah – the next weaving generation in West Timor - Ruth Hadlow finds weaving revived for the younger generation in West Timor.
Yilaalu – objects for carrying stories - Lucy Simpson interprets the Yuwaalaraay word 'Yilaalu' as an art installation to touch and behold.