|Chinese formal court robe from the mid 19th Century.|
Silk, fur, silk and metallic thread, gilt; slit tapestry weave.
|Tampan (ceremonial textile), Paminggir people, Sumatra, Indonesia.|
Cotton dyes; supplementary weft weaving.
One of my favourite pieces was this Japanese boro kimono. It's a bit hard to see in the exhibition because it's lit from behind, but I love the mending upon mending – layers on layers stitched together with sashiko stitching for extra strength and warmth.
This rag kimono was probably worn by a poor rural worker, as blue cotton garments were commonly used in Japan at this time to signify the working class.
|Rag kimono, 1900-50 Japan. Cotton, indigo; resist dyeing (kasuri), quilting, sashiko stitching.|
Which brings me nicely to the project I'm currently working on. It's a quilt made from recycled jeans I've been collecting from friends and family as well as the odd op-shop. I'm cutting really large pieces which means I need big, tall mens' jeans for the biggest of them. I think I'm about a week away from finishing the top, which is currently spread all over the floor.
At this stage I'd usually photograph it so I can put it away and then lay it out again the same way, but given all the pieces are essentially the same colour I'm not really sure that will work. The alternative is normally numbering the pieces, but I can't quite figure out how to do that either. I guess it's just going to have to live in this very inconvenient spot until I'm done!
I suspect I'm going to have an awful lot of denim leftover too. Often it's only the backs of the legs that are wide enough for what I'm doing, so I already have plans for a Maura Ambrose, Folk-Fibers style improvised quilt after this one. Let's just say, I think I'm going to be vacuuming up a million tiny denim threads for a while yet.