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January 13, 2008


good food for thought. for me, 'slow' anything usually seems to be strongly rooted in wonderment and joy in the process and experimentation, as opposed to the end result. it seems like so many are being overtaken with the now-now-now approach, and this whole slow thing has been so rewarding, regardless of the end results.

it's always so interesting to see how people will interpret things. please take a look at yoshiko wada's excellent resource site for further explorations on the concept of slow cloth/fiber ... http://shiboriorg.wordpress.com/projects/slow-fiber/

I read this awhile ago and loved it. For some reason I was to shy to say so (crazy I know!) at the time, but just want to say now that I agree with all of this so much...

how did i miss this? color me late to the party. just did a post on this with links.

Followed the link over from Carnival of Green Crafts #1 to read about Slow Cloth. Interesting explanation and insight given to the meaning of this term. I love your comments about someone who thinks they must learn to sew or knit. It's a love, a gift, a drive, and something I cherish. Not some skill I had to achieve. Enjoyed reading your post and hope to visit your site again.

Thank you for a stimulating, engaging explanation of Slow Cloth. It's really given me a lot to think about, and helped me remember to be thankful for the ones who have taught me to sew and knit and embroider (haven't done that in ages, but I've heard it's made quite a comeback!). Your site is terrific and I appreciate all the work you've done in the field of organics and textiles. I can learn a great deal from you! All my best, K.

Perfect! I love the clear explination of Slow Cloth, I have been a spinner for over 30 years, the vast majority of what I knit is my handspun. When asked why I spin ("its so slow!") for me that thread extends back through the centuries connecting me with all the women who came before; all those individual threads that clothed families, that made the sails for ships to explore the world. And I believe it is terribly, terribly important to preserve those skills and tools, so much knowlege has been lost in the mists of time.
It is wonderful to find a like minded community and no one will go glassy-eyed over these thoughtful and thought provoking discussions!

Thank you for putting this into such wonderful words. I agree with Aurora in that, no matter what other paths I take, this is what continues to bring me back to this medium.

Ah, the true love of the process - the rest is all part of that for me. I love holding a piece of handiwork from days past and imagining each stitch being done with care, each with such a love of the process.

Very interesting - thank you for sharing!


I am a weaver and very active in the Slow Food movement. Although I have thought about all the concepts and ideas related to my weaving that you mention in this manifesto, and consider my life to be a "Slow Life," I've never actually connected the words "Slow" with my weaving (although it certainly is slow!). Thank you for some wonderful inspiration. From now on, I'll think of my weaving as Slow Cloth.

thank you for your thought on this. your" slow blogging" is refreshing and i enjoy coming here between stitches.

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10 Qualities of Slow Cloth, by Elaine Lipson

  • I defined Slow Cloth several years ago on this blog. Read the original post at http://lainie.typepad.com/redthread/2008/01/this-must-be-th-1.html. (Copyright Elaine Lipson 2007-2011; all rights reserved).
  • Joy
    Slow Cloth has the possibility of joy in the process. In other words, the journey matters as much as the destination.
  • Contemplation
    Slow Cloth offers the quality of meditation or contemplation in the process.
  • Skill
    Slow Cloth involves skill and has the possibility of mastery.
  • Diversity
    Slow Cloth acknowledges the rich diversity and multicultural history of textile art.
  • Teaching
    Slow Cloth honors its teachers and lineage even in its most contemporary expressions.
  • Materials
    Slow Cloth is thoughtful in its use of materials and respects their source.
  • Quality
    Slow Cloth artists, designers, crafters and artisans want to make things that last and are well-made.
  • Beauty
    It's in the eye of the beholder, yes, but it's in our nature to reach for beauty and create it where we can.
  • Community
    Slow Cloth supports community by sharing knowledge and respecting relationships.
  • Expression
    Slow Cloth is expressive of individuals and/or cultures. The human creative force is reflected and evident in the work.


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Books and Reports by Elaine Lipson

Selected Articles by Elaine Lipson