The Meaning of Cloth

Table Runner by Tom Knisely

Table Runner inspired by Kente cloth


One of my favorite things about working for Handwoven is that I get to see and handle most of the items that appear on the pages of the magazine. Whether it is a project piece, a new item for the store such as the Handwoven calendar or an eBook that I’ve just printed, I often show off things to folks here on the third floor at Interweave. I know they will love the item as much as I do even if crochet, spinning, or marketing is their focus. I appreciate my coworkers because they really do support my enthusiasm for handwoven items and understand why they are so important to me.


As a new year looms, many of us will take the time to examine 2010 and dream about the possibilities for 2011. As weavers, cloth holds particular significance for us, and in the January/February 2011 issue of Handwoven we examine the meaning of cloth. We present ideas to help you celebrate, communicate, and commemorate the special memories and events in your life. We observe weaving in Ghana, Bolivia, and Guatemala and also look at various ways to “say it” with cloth. You will be dazzled by Tien Chiu’s breathtaking wedding ensemble. It represents over 1,000 hours of work! Anita Luvera Mayer shows us how to honor the stages of our lives as only Anita can with her unique flair for celebration that is expressed through her handwoven garments.


Some of our projects include Scandinavian tablecloths, tartans, and a vest design inspired by a Hindu toran (a toran is a decorative door hanging). You will learn that doubleweave has been used to give meaning to cloth across centuries and continents, and in this issue, Doramay Keasbey gives us instructions for exceptional pick-up bookmarks.

Bookmarks by Doramay Keasbey

Doubleweave pick-up bookmarks


You will also find projects inspired by prayer flags, kente cloth, and the Huichols from the Mexican highlands. Tracy Kaestner inspires us to create aprons with meaningful insignia, and Laura Fry encourages us to express ourselves with the most sensuous scarves. How I wish you could reach into the pages and touch them! Suzie Liles and Irene Schmoller remind us how cloth is important from our first breath to our final resting place.


Finally, where would all that wonderful cloth come from without our treasured looms? If you are thinking about purchasing a new loom in 2011, you won’t want to miss our bonus “Loom Buyer’s Guide” packed with information to help you make your choice among the many weaving looms for sale.


All of us at Handwoven thank you for another great year, and we wish you all a happy holiday season and hope all your dreams come true in 2011.




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