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  • beth swade

AMAZING LONDON TEXTILE EXHIBITION, JAPANESE Aesthetics of RECYCLING

WOW!!! This exhibition was amazing, if you are in London try and pop down, if not take a look at my photos and imagine your there enjoying all these amazing textiles. Its on at the Brunei Gallery thats located within SOAS, I hadn't been before but its a lovely space, not too big but a really lovely collection that has been curated really well. The Japanese Aesthetics of Recycling is on until 23 September 2023, I love patchwork and re worked textiles anyway but this had such depth and you could feel the years of re making and re working of the textiles in a really exciting way. I want to explore how to bring this into my work going forwards.

A display of kimonos which have been repaired by patchwork and stitch

"Exhibiting over 100 objects from the Karun Thakar Collection - mostly dating from the Edo period (江戸時代, Edo jidai) or Tokugawa period (徳川時代, Tokugawa jidai) - the exhibition includes exquisite examples of ‘Boro’ and ‘sakiori’ textiles, washi and kin-tsugi or gin-tsugi pottery. "



Patch-worked fabrics into a rug or floor covering

This was super exciting to me, these textiles had been patch-worked and stitched together into a rug, I have often made similar patchworks for throws or cushions but there was something really fresh about thinking about using as a rug. The soft worn layers of textiles that have been used for other things over the years and then lovingly re assembled to have a new life and use makes me happy. See the little ball in the case behind too? They are textile 'wool or yarn' where you make strips that you can then knit or weave into a new textile.





Upholstery fabric really needs to be strong and able to pull it hard to be able to get a good stretch, when I experimented using vintage mattress ticking it was so hard to work with as different thicknesses/ stretch etc....


progress pictures of a chair being upholstered in patchwork material


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