Across Borders

Across Borders

I came back from the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe at the beginning of the week bursting with the joy of it all—the music, the dancing, the color, the artisans and the crowds they had attracted, all embracing the beauty and importance of handmade goods from around the world. At the same time, across […]

Yard Sale Huipil

yard sale huipil

The Sale I’m not the kind of person who brakes for yard sales, usually.  But when I see a stack of what looks like handwoven cloth from Guatemala, I pull over. This happened a couple of weeks ago. And it was Guatemalan cloth that I’d spied from the road, a modest pile of slim table runners with […]

Here Be Dragons

ThereBeDragons

Dragon Boats The dragon boats are racing in China this weekend; they’re racing all over the world, actually. The annual Dragon Boat Festival, or Duanwu Festival, is one of the most important traditional celebrations in China, begun about 2,000 years ago to honor the death of poet, Qu Yuan—at least that’s one of the stories. […]

DAM This Is Good: Collections and Crossroads

DAM

It all began in 1927 with the gift of a Kashmir shawl. That shawl was the Denver Art Museum’s (DAM) first recorded non-American Indian textile. In the decades that followed, the museum’s collection grew exponentially. Now, its Textile Art and Fashion Collection holds over 5,000 objects from Asia, Europe, and North and South America. These range from […]

Same Path, Different Eyes

Traditional Weavers

For ten days at the beginning of March, ClothRoads and Thrums Books hosted a textile tour through Guatemala to meet the artisans of Traditional Weavers of Guatemala–Their Stories, Their Lives. The tour was led by authors Deborah Chandler and Teresa Cordón. Teresa has graciously shared with us some of her thoughts about the trip. The Adventure On […]

Preservation or Innovation: What’s Best for Textile Traditions?

TextileTraditionChinchero

I get the best email. Dear Linda, Here’s a question that has been wandering around in the back of my mind ever since I went to Peru a couple of years ago. I’m a weaver, knitter, and sewist, so I love this stuff. In the Sacred Valley, we saw Nilda Callanaupa and her merry band […]

Tying the Knot—Macramé in Mexico

Pantelho blouse

I bought these two little macramé bands in a thatched hut near the Maya ruins at Cobá, deep in the flat, dense jungle of the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. This was more than twenty years ago, before friendship bracelets took the world by storm. In a wasteland of crude, redundant tourist goods, the fine craftsmanship […]

Just Cross-Stitch Reprise

When I was about seven years old, my mother gave me a cross-stitch kit for Christmas. Along with several skeins of embroidery floss, it had a piece of cotton fabric stamped with the pattern of a little house, some flowers, and the motto “Home Sweet Home.” Oh, I struggled. I didn’t know to make all […]

Lost Cloth

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

I heard from a dear friend earlier this week on her way to South Africa. She and I tend to check in with each other when we head out on the road—compare notes, give encouragement. Before I set out for a long trek in Africa years ago, I sold her my old Jeep truck. Later, […]

Mother and Daughter

Accha Alta A little more than ten years ago, I was visiting the breathtakingly high, beautiful Andean village of Accha Alta. This very traditional small community was still farming potatoes the old way, tilling near-vertical land with handheld hoes. They were still weaving sacks (costales) of handspun llama wool on backstrap looms to take those […]

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