Our Beautiful World and its Gorgeous Historical Textiles
Have you ever thought about your favorite and formative experiences, growing up? Specifically the ones that shaped your taste in music, color, food, styles of dress, and more?
I was lucky to grow up in a city with many different people from around the world, and a bonus of several multi-cultural centers. My favorite was a big park with small cottages that functioned almost like a tiny United Nations.
Every weekend, one of the cottages held a sort of ‘Open House’ where its members hosted the public- including some of their textiles, history, songs, food & drinks, and culture. It is one of my favorite memories. I went to every one I could over the years. I remember Scottish tartans on the walls, performances by the house of the Philippines, songs and spoken poetry by the House of Ireland, amazing textiles by the house of Columbia, and many more.
People were friendly, proud of their heritage, happy to share their history and past. I was fascinated by the beautiful colors, textures and variations of language, jewelry, songs, clothing and more from each place. I have spent many years since traveling the world and have found people in every country to be kind, friendly and just as interesting!
Examples of these traditional designs have become harder and harder to find. As time passes, fewer people know how to make them, and even less wear them. If traditional textiles and crafts disappear, I think this it will be a heavy loss for our world.
It is important to note is that these are not “costumes”. They are the unique and beautiful forms of Traditional Dress of people around the world. They often take weeks or months to create, and are also associated with important milestones or ceremonies in a person’s life. Each shows the skill and individuality of its maker, and the particulars of traditional items have developed over years through ingenuity. What's more, people have held on to them through persecution and times when they have been physically and mentally assaulted for trying to keep this part of themselves alive. Please have respect for these beautiful items, and understand that this is a big reason why people get upset when the history they have bled for is tossed on as a trend.
As an Artist and lifelong admirer of traditional textiles, it is one of my dreams to help to keep these patterns alive, while sharing the history and importance of them to their original creators. I plan to write blogs talking about their origins and history, and create pattern collections inspired by the beauty they have represented during history.