I have decided to start a blog. Not too innovative, I admit, as there are hundreds and hundreds out there. However, for me, it is a new experience. I hope to create a dialog about textiles, specifically, textile history. You see I am a textile historian: I research, write and lecture on topics of textile history. For many years I worked from my studio in Massachusetts , buying and selling vintage textiles while I studied and researched their history.
The more I learned, the more I realized how little I actually knew about the history of fibers and textiles, cloth and costume. The more books I read, the more classes I took and lectures I attended the more I became determined to become as knowledgeable as possible about this fascinating subject. The subject is so vast, at first it seemed impossible to create an order to the information I was obtaining, but I pursued gathering bits of facts (and fiction) on all sorts of related topics. Then it became apparent that a plan was needed. Other professionals in the field limited their scope to specific areas of interest, becoming “experts” in their narrow field. While this appeared a more manageable approach, I was unsatisfied with the lack of connection between various topics.. for example, why would a group of people decide to use certain dyes, while their neighbors chose differently and thousand of miles away another society, or clan or tribe was using the same dyestuffs. Why are some patterns and designs universally used? How did events in one part of the world influence textile decisions elsewhere? So instead of specializing, I decided my initial approach would be as a generalist, putting together a chronology of textile history from prehistoric to contemporary. Obviously this would work if I realized I could not spend months and years on a specific topic but let my colleagues answer questions ( and those of my students and lecture attendees) that demanded an in depth approach. Fortunately, over these many years I have had the great pleasure of accumulating quite a list of “go to” experts.
Nearly 8 years ago my husband, Ian, and I moved from New England winters and traffic and our 250 year old farmhouse to a small home in Santa Fe NM. I now work from my office at home which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, don’t misunderstand, but I miss my daily interactions with others in the field. Sometimes I wish I could just share a bit of trivia regarding, say the rabbit population in France for angora production
So hence this blog. I want to share information and experiences with textiles and their history, upcoming and current exhibitions , reference sources and, very importantly, the work of textile researchers and artists. I wish this site to be informative, but to be effective I will need the feedback and contributions of you readers.