Legacies of Cloth

  Robyn Spady's Generational Dish Towels
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Robyn Spady's dishtowels are
inspired by a sportscoat woven by
her great-grandmother Vovo.

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Some of my most treasured family heirlooms are textiles: handsewn quilts, embroidered napkins, and knitted sweaters to just name a few. There is just something about cloth that, for me at least, triggers and emotional reaction. Perhaps this is because cloth is made for touching. It is made for wearing, for cuddling, and even for cleaning food off our faces. 

This emotional connection is seen in our latest issue of Handwoven. For this issue we asked weavers for projects inspired by the textiles that connect us to our past, our cultural heritage, and weavers from around the world.

The response we received was overwhelming (in a good way), and so the projects in the latest issue of Handwoven are all full of stories of family, faith, and global weaving traditions.

Robyn Spady tells the story of her great-grandmother, an Irish weaver nicknamed “Vovo,” whose weaving inspired Robyn’s elegant Generational Dishtowels. Jennifer Moore’s simply stunning Andean Memories Runner tells the story of her trip to Urubamba, Peru and the Tinkuy conference of handweavers.

Jennifer Moore's Andean Memories Runner Spacer 5x5 pixels 
Jennifer Moore's doubleweave
runner was inspired by Andean
scaffold weaving. 

While working on the issue it was hard not to think of my own textile heritage, not just the items passed down to me but the items I may someday pass down to the younger generations of my family. In her article, Robyn Spady writes that “we make our own legacies when we pass along the items we create.”

The line is poignant, and I believe it’s true. I hope that someday my own handwoven legacies are treasured long after I am gone, and that maybe they will inspire somebody to weave (or knit, sew, paint, or otherwise create). I also hope this issue inspires many a weaver to not just make the projects in the issue, but to look to their own past and treasured heirlooms to create their own unique, and utterly emotional, textiles. I know it's certainly inspired me.


Christina Garton

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