Friday the 22nd of August we began stitching

On Friday the 4th of April, Karen Nickell, who has recently completed her PhD thesis, came to give a talk on her research based on textile culture and creativity. She explained that ‘textile culture’ encompasses various forms of art, craft and artefacts. This could include- fine art (using textile as the medium), dressmaking, hobby crafts, knitting and crochet groups, war-time make do and mend , patchwork and cross stitch trends and quilting bees. All of these examples are important elements of textile culture and they are all interlinked. For her thesis, Karen focused on examples where cloth is used in the creation of art or used to engage the public in community projects. Karen showed us fascinating examples of contemporary art which was made using cloth or by reviving traditional textile techniques, for example lace making and crochet. She also showed us examples of artists who work with community participants, including the Port and Docks of Belfast: Imagined through Textiles Project, and commented that the tapestry project differs from other examples because the participants make decisions on the content and imagery. After her talk, Karen showed us some of her samples of painted silk with motion embroidery and also demonstrated the technique on her sewing machine. Some participants tried out the technique.

Carolyn’s Textile Collection

Carolyn has a beautiful collection of textiles- including lace sleeves and collars, embroidered silk hankies and collars from a shirt factory. She also brought in some family photographs which will be very useful when researching fashion.








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