Wednesday 28 June 2023
Wednesday 21 June 2023
This is the title of a paper I wrote for a special issue of the journal Textile Cloth and Culture focusing on textiles and trauma. Textiles often bear witness to trauma. This may be as forensic evidence or as documents of record made by the traumatised or their loved ones, to ensure that traumatic events are not forgotten. In this paper I concentrate on domestic trauma in particular confinement, coercion and control in the home, all of which increased during the lockdowns resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Textiles can be an alternative form of discourse for those without access to mainstream media. One example I quote is Elizabeth Parker’s nineteenth-century cross-stitch sampler, now in the V&A Museum, recording her abuse by her employer. Other examples are the arpilleras made by women in Peru affected by domestic violence. I also reference contemporary work such as 35 I cant’s by Alison Lowry and Jayne Cherry and of course my own practice-based research using net curtains such as Whispering and Marking time. The paper does end on a encouraging note as it also discusses textile based initiatives that help victims of domestic abuse. If you are interested in reading more there are some free copies available from the publisher https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/PDVXXRAZQHRGTKKTIEGS/full?target=10.1080/14759756.2021.2019370
Wednesday 14 June 2023
This pretty lace edging is made from a combination of purchased machine-made lace tapes and crochet and was a very popular technique for home lacemakers in the early twentieth century. Many needlework magazines included patterns for this type of lace and a variety of lace tapes were made and sold for the purpose.
These tapes come from an illustration in Therese de Dillmont’s needlework encyclopaedia and show a few of the styles available. The tapes were tacked down onto the backing fabric following the pattern and joined either by needlelace or, as in this case, crochet work. Then when the pieces were all secured to each other the tacking thread was removed and the lace could be removed in one piece.
Both the pieces illustrated here were made using tapes made up of a series of joined leaf shapes. In the main image the tapes have been angled to form petals but in this piece the tapes have been used to form a circle enclosing a larger crochet design. Both are very pretty and were probably made by the same person (they were given to me by a friend and came from the same source). I particularly like the floral one with the little crochet frill overlapping the fabric.