Our popular Talking Textiles groups meet on Mondays at Hive and have been working on projects that explore a variety of creative textile techniques. These have all emphasised textile recycling, repair and reuse themes. They include traditional patchwork, creating and using t-shirt yarn (for crochet, knitting, rag rugging and weaving), using heat activated interfacing to create new textiles, printing and darning and mending skills. We have also encouraged discussion about the various contemporary textile recycling industries and businesses in the city and learned about the heritage of the industry and workers from the 1880s onward. As well as these practical skills and heritage stories we have used the stories of significant textiles in our lives to reminisce. These stories evidence the power of textiles as a tool for community-based conversations about our own lives, the lives of our ancestors and the relevance to our community heritage.
We’ve recently challenged the group to use the many textile skills they have and that they have learned during the project to make a personal piece of work. The parameters of the challenge are that the piece is worked on a square of recycled blanket and that all the materials used must be reused or found in the Hive Textile Recycling Hub. Here are examples of some of the work in progress:
Lynda’s work focusses on the wellbeing benefits she gets from attending the project and the beauty to be found in broken or repaired textiles.
Lila is using a collection of crocheted, embroidered and tatted doilies donated to the recycling hub. She wants to celebrate the hours of work women put into these domestic items during the early and mid-twentieth century.
Muriel has been inspired by a collection of floral pieces of fabric from her own scrap bag and is working on a patched and appliqued mini-quilt.
Tess has challenged herself to make a patchwork using the English paper piecing technique with a sample of every piece of cloth that has been donated to the recycling hub since the beginning of the Worn Stories project.
Deb is exploring her new embroidery skills and is using yarn and fabric strips from the textile hub to create a densely worked ammonite on a wool background.