Event date: Saturday, November 10, 2018, 10am
For those who crave indigo, a journey to Africa is recommended. This virtual tour, presented by Pamela McClusky, shows how indigo has been adapted to multiple uses across many countries, revealing where this dye has had a pronounced impact.
The journey starts in ancient Egypt, to see a kerchief used by King Tutankhamun that retains the deep hue of a majestic aesthetic. Moving southwest, it follows the path of camels to the Tuareg, or the Blue People, as their clothes and skin are saturated with indigo. From there, a caravan leads to Kano, Nigeria which is renowned for its distinctive dedication to dye pits that are hundreds of years old and still in active use today. Moving south to Abeokuta the unique transformation of white cloth shipped to Nigeria by British colonists is investigated. How the women of this city invented a flourishing vocabulary of designs filled with proverbs, symbols and meanings is an epic chapter of textile history in the 20th century.
For more information visit the website of the Textile Arts Council
Event location: Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco CA 94118
Event date: Wednesday 14 November 2018, 18:30-20:30
In one of medieval Cairo’s last remaining covered streets is a community of tentmakers whose work has transformed the Egyptian landscape at times of celebration and festivity. For at least a millennium, these craftsmen have created magnificent handstitched cotton pavilions of a thousand colours which have entertained kings and country folk alike, awed enemies, and brought powerful sultans to tears.
Discover the stories of this fascinating craft through the voices of its craftsmen and patrons, past and present. Get to handle some of the treasures of this remarkable textile tradition, and immerse yourself in a little-known treasure-trove of Islamic art.
Seif El Rashidi is a historian of Islamic art who worked in historic Cairo for a decade, where he was first captivated by the tentmakers, and their splendid textile creations. This talk and textile handling session is the result of several years of research into the tent making tradition, leading to his newly published book The Tentmakers of Cairo: Egypt’s Medieval and Modern Applique Craft, (with Sam Bowker).
For more details and booking click here
Location: Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Rd, London, W14 8LZ
Exhibition dates: 19 August 2018 – 24 February 2019
This exhibition of dazzling Kuba textiles presented in the Baltimore Museum of Art’s Cone Collection galleries reveals how a central African kingdom independently developed a form of modernist abstraction in the 20th century.
The Kuba kingdom, on the southern edge of the Congolese Rainforest in central Africa, developed one of the greatest civilisations in the history of the continent. Art and design were central to their life. In addition to an elaborate and varied masquerade tradition, Kuba men and women were prolific textile artists, even weaving houses and embroidering currency. As the kingdom grew richer and more powerful, Kuba men and women began to create increasingly abstract designs. Works produced in Kuba’s earlier periods are defined by repeating patterns and minute details. Textiles created at the height of the kingdom’s power and prestige are characterised by bold, inventive designs that are constantly in flux.
An excellent in depth review of this exhibition, entitled A Great African Kingdom Tells Its History In Fabulous Royal Clothes, by Tim McDonnell with many additional images can be found here
For further information on visiting the exhibition see the website of the Baltimore Museum of Art
Exhibition dates: 8 – 29 November 2018
The German indigo dyer, Georg Stark, and the Textile Research Centre in Leiden, the Netherlands, have organised an exhibition about an intriguing aspect of shared Dutch-German cultural heritage, namely that of resist printing and dyeing with indigo. The exhibition has been set up with the assistance of the local government of Niedersachsen, Hannover, in Germany.
The old craft of indigo dyeing has been added to the UNESCO list of German cultural heritage and is being supported at various levels and manners. Georg Stark himself has been recognised as an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage craftsman (for indigo). In the Netherlands, however, the situation is different. Some thirty years ago the last indigo workshop (in Staphorst) closed down. This was all the more unfortunate, since the first indigo dyer in Europe happened to be a Dutchman. In 1671, Jacob ter Gouw opened the first indigo workshop in his native town of Amersfoort.
There will be a special reception with the indigo dyer Georg Stark at 16:00 on 7 November. If you would like to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further details of the exhibition please visit the website of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden
Event date: Saturday 20 October 2018, 10am
This lecture by Joanna Barrkman will explore the phenomenon of how artists in remote Aboriginal Australian communities have embraced screen-printing on textiles as a contemporary art practice as they work in locally owned and operated art centres on their traditional lands. Each art centre has developed its own style of printed fabrics as well as distinctive approaches to printed fabric production and distribution. This lecture will convey how, over the past three decades, Indigenous Australian artists have taken command of textile printing designs and technology to a point of mastery. This mastery of technique empowers artists and printers to confidently retell, transmit, revitalise and share ancient iconography, knowledge and connection to land, in contemporary and inventive ways.
The screen-printed textiles featured in this presentation originate from five art centres and demonstrate the resilience of Aboriginal Australian culture and the perseverance of Indigenous artists as they create extraordinary textile art in often harsh and remote environments using the simplest of facilities. Examples of printed textiles from public and private collections will be featured.
Location: Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum, San Francisco
For further details visit the website of the Textile Arts Council
Event date: 5 September 2018 at 18:30
This lecture by Sumru Belger Krody, senior curator at the Textile Museum, Washington DC shows how nomadic Anatolian women, descended from Turkmen nomads, wove colourful, visually stunning kilims that reveal their culture’s aesthetic preferences for decorating their surroundings. Today, these kilims are the only surviving tangible evidence of their makers’ nomadic lifestyle – a poignant legacy given that women generally did not have an external voice in this patriarchal society. The exhibition A Nomad’s Art: Kilims of Anatolia will be open before the talk.
This lecture is free, but reservations are required. For more details of this event held at the Textile Museum, Washington DC, click here
Event date: Tuesday 4 September 2018 18:00 – 20:00
Anna-Louise Meynell (Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London) has been conducting doctoral research in the remote state of Meghalaya, Northeast India. The research aims to explore and define the cultural heritage of eri silk weaving in the Ri Bhoi District, considering the socio-cultural history, the craft process and the materiality of the product.
Eri silk holds many social narratives of North East India. It is cultivated domestically and known locally as “the poor man’s silk” or “peace silk”, as it does not harm the silkworm in the extraction of the silk. Unlike the continuous filament of the mulberry silk cocoon, the eri cocoon is made up of short staple fibres which require it to be hand spun, resulting in a slubby texture with a dull sheen of silk. It is still almost exclusively dyed with natural dyes and traditionally woven on a simple bamboo floor loom.
The eri silk communities of Meghalaya have been exposed to significant social change and external interventions since pre-colonial times, much of which can be ‘read’ through a study of the textiles and techniques. Anna-Louise will show photos and samples from the archive of eri silk textiles that has been collected during fieldwork – samples that are indicators of tribal migration and assimilation, of colonial influence and widespread conversion from the indigenous Khasi religion to Christianity.
For further details and booking click here
This Oxford Asian Textile Group event will take place at the Pauling Centre, Oxford.
Event dates: 10 – 13 August 2018
To mark the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 86th Birthday, the Sanjai Saiyai Phasin Club is organising the fourth Annual Sarong Festival to promote woven fabrics from all regions of Thailand. The event will be held from August 10 to 13 from 10am to 10pm at The Street Ratchadaphisek, Bangkok.
“We will bring woven fabrics from all over the country to salute Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and to also preserve and support Thai handicrafts in line with royal aspirations,” said the club’s president Nayada Amatavanich.
“The event will also feature talks by many famous Thai Fabric designers, among them Thanit Phoomsawai, a well-known designer from the drama “Buppesanniwas”, Wasin Oonjanam costume designer of the drama “Nakaraj”, artists who have created and rewoven fabric patterns such as Terdsak Insaeng, Pairat Sararat, Jongjarun Manakam and Suriya Wongchai, as well as additional Thai fabric experts from different regions. And we will demonstrate how to wear a sarong in various forms.”
In partnership with Feature Co Ltd, the club will also unveil a precious publication on woven textiles in Thailand.
Sanjai Saiyai Phasin Club was established on December 5, 2017 with the objective of preserving and promoting Thai sarong and woven textiles in all regions. It currently has more than 17,000 members.
The Lotha Naga in Longsa village, Wokha District, Nagaland, weave lotha – vividly coloured, geometrically patterned shawls that when worn, denote a man or woman’s social status in the community. The weaving of shawls, scarves and sarongs is done exclusively by women on loin or body tension looms, which are commonly used throughout northeast India. The Naga loom consists of a simple back-strap with a continuous horizontal warp. Basic tools such as warp beams, lease rods, healed sticks and beating swords are fashioned from debris, making the loom inexpensive and highly portable.
Cotton, wool and increasingly, rayon are all used for weaving the long, narrow shawls. Stripes, squares and bands of black, red and white colour are typically used; some designs are woven over with patterns depicting animals or human figures, symbolised by a circular shape. The finished lotha is warp-dominant and has a ribbed texture.
To read the full article and watch a short video on Lotha weaving visit the website of The Textile Atlas here
Event date: Thursday 19 July, 6-7:45pm
OATG members David and Sue Richardson first visited the Indonesian island of Sumba in 1991. They have since returned many times, drawn back by its fascinating culture and fabulous textiles.
This talk will briefly cover the history and ethnography of Sumba, before focussing on its weaving culture. Textiles are fundamental to life on this island, being used extensively in bridewealth exchanges, for settling disputes, and for funerals. Two main techniques are used – supplementary warp and warp ikat. It can take many months just to do the binding for one of the ikat cloths, with some requiring up to 20,000 separate knots.
David and Sue will also be showing some wonderful examples from their extensive collection – including textiles made by members of the Sumbanese Royal families.
Location: The Pauling Centre, 58a Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6QS.
Time: 6pm for a 6:15 start
OATG events are free for members and £3 payable on the door for non-members. Advance booking is recommended.
Should you require disabled access, please do get in touch beforehand to make sure adequate provisions can be made.
For more information, and to book a place at this event, visit the Eventbrite page.