Feb
06
2012
--

What is dupion silk?

dupion silkDupion silk fabric is not “as smooth as silk”. The texture is uneven with intermittent stretches of nubbly thread in the weave. It may be used for elegant clothing and furnishings now, but it had to overcome its original reputation for being an inferior, rough silk. Making silk begins with gathering heaps of silkworm cocoons. [more...]

Written by | 2,510 views | Tags: , , , | 0 Comments
Feb
28
2011
4

How did Argyle socks and knitwear get their name?

blue, green, black argyle sockArgyle socks have centuries of history, and yet that particular name wasn't used until nearly 1940. Socks with the typical “Argyle” diamond design used to be called tartan hose or plaid stockings. They were knee-length, and made from wool, sometimes rather scratchy wool. The pattern of lozenges in two or more colours, criss-crossed by narrow [more...]

Written by | 7,247 views | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments
Jul
06
2010
--

What did Iban headhunters do with the captured heads?

iban-women-with-human-headsWhat did the Iban headhunters on Borneo do with their trophies? No surprise; they did what the winners of any competition do: took their trophies home and showed them to their wife or mother. And the women on Borneo did just as proud wives and mothers of Olympic gold medalists do—or those of a member [more...]

Written by | 2,186 views | Tags: , , , , | 0 Comments
May
26
2010
2

Is Harris Tweed still made the traditional way?

harris tweed swatchesThe new Dr. Who, Matt Smith, wears a distinctive jacket made of genuine Harris Tweed. The press has called it “timeless”, “traditional”, “vintage” and even “romantic”. The Doctor’s jacket is made from cloth woven in the 1960s, the same age as the TV programme itself.  The fabric looks much like Harris Tweed woven today, and [more...]

Written by | 3,992 views | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments
Nov
13
2009
2

Where does the paisley pattern come from?

Paisley silk tie fabrics (Photographs by uriba - CC-BY)I used to see the paisley design as a curled leaf or feather, without thinking about its history. Paisley fabric is “patterned with distinctive, ornate, teardrop- or feather-shaped figures, based on an Indian pine cone design”, according to the dictionary. Textile experts have called it a “drooping bud” or a  “Kashmir cone”. It's also been [more...]

Written by | 8,479 views | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments
Nov
11
2009
1

Why were shawls so fashionable around 1800?

Shawls in early 19th century Francecollege essay editing service In the late 1600s shawl was not yet an English word, though it was beginning to turn up in travellers' descriptions of clothing they had seen in southern Asia. In the 1700s fine cashmere shawls from Kashmir and India arrived in Western Europe. At first they were not treated as clothing, [more...]

Written by | 8,810 views | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment
Nov
09
2009
--

Is a true pashmina made of pure cashmere?

Pick a pashmina shawl in your favourite colour (Photo by Tom - CC-BY)professional college essay writers Pashminas took off in the later 1990s, when draping a generous piece of woven cashmere round your shoulders was a fashion trend in Western countries. At the end of 1996 a London journalist reported that “style guru Lucia van der Post” said the pashmina was “the most chic shawl around town”. [more...]

Written by | 4,531 views | Tags: , , , , , | 0 Comments
Jul
07
2009
1

Where can you see historic needlework in Scotland?

Traquair House has fine needlework from the 1600s and 1700s  (Photo by quezi.com - CC-BY)Fans of old embroidery will find plenty in Scotland. The suggestions here are a few favourites, all in reach of Edinburgh or Glasgow. Traquair is an ancient house with a unique collection of old needlework. The 16th century petit point fruit and flower “slip” motifs are well-preserved, still waiting to be sewn onto soft furnishings, [more...]

May
01
2009
1

Are Fair Isle knitting and stranded colourwork the same thing?

Wrong side of stranded knitting with "unused" yarn running   smoothly across the back. (Photo by WordRidden - CC-BY)Once upon a time the answer was always “No”. Strictly speaking, Fair Isle knitting is one particular kind of multi-colour stranded knitting from the Shetland Islands and nearby Fair Isle. Nowadays the name is spreading and you may find Fair Isle, or fairisle, used to mean almost any style of stranded knitting. Click through to [more...]

Written by | 5,637 views | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment
May
01
2009
1

What is traditional Fair Isle knitting?

Geometric patterns echo Fair Isle design, with some contemporary twists.Fair Isle and the neighbouring island group of Shetland, on the northern fringes of the UK, have their own traditional styles of multicolour knitting. Local experts can tell the difference between the two, but the designs are so closely related that most people treat them as one single tradition. The early history wasn’t written down, [more...]

Written by | 12,579 views | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Privacy Policy | Acknowledgements