What a lovely surprise: five women textile designers have taken over a local shop in London and turned it into a teaching and display area for two weeks.
Called Bricolage, the women are all involved with the creation of sustainable textile art. Bricolage's products include delicate screenprinted wallpapers; original hand-printed fabrics; hand and machine knit cushions and up cycled quilting. Their beautiful works are on display and they will also be holding one day workshops on darning, smocking and patchworks. Sign up here...
For all of them sustainability is at the core of their practices. They banded together as a collective because they wanted to raise awareness of the beauty of old textiles, in crafts and handmade items. Their work celebrates the 'emotional durability' of working with pre-loved textiles.
They all recognize the importance of meaningful purchases: pieces of art and homewares that will have a long life and not be a throw-away. Bricolage are determined to show that using left-overs does not have to mean that recycling is aesthetically dull or devalues the product.
Photo: B. Alter
Naomi Paul hand knits these big comfie cushions out of 100% organic cotton. In her work she uses a range of materials: recycled, upcycled, organic, industry waste and British luxury. Using bright colours and lovely edgings and frills, they combine traditional craft techniques such as knitting with a modern twist.
Katherine May has been working on patchwork and paper piecing (a traditional English patchwork technique) and hand sewing. Each piece is hand-stitched from vintage, pre-loved and hand-dyed fabrics. She will be leading a quilting and patchwork workshop, with participants using favourite fragments of their own cloth.
Yemi Awosile works with cork--making sustainable upholstery fabric out of it. She has been working to revive the cork industry in Portugal. TreeHugger wrote about her when she was just a student in 2008, and here she is again, still turning out great things.
Photo: B. Alter
Polly Burtonmakes the wonderful hand screen-printed cushions. The shapes and patterns are organic, some have garden and flower images and some are very 50's. Stylish and colourful and would look so good on the sofa...
Clara Vuletich is a printed textile designer and researcher in sustainable textile design. She produces hand-printed wallpapers and fabrics to commission, the end result being a modern combination of traditional and digital printing techniques.
We also loved, and bought (!) one of these beautiful quilts, hand-made in West Bengali, India by Katna's Kantha. It is a collective that works with village women to give them skills so that they can earn a living and make a life for themselves.
More on Sustainable Crafts and Homeware
New Designs for Cork and Recycled Plastic
Creating a New Community in Brixton , South London
Brixton Cornercopia is a New Kind of Corner Store