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April 12, 2009


Thank you Jude and MF for your great comments.

Hi Anaka - I'm back home and wanting to respond to your e-mail from last week! I started to write a long response and haven't finished it yet, but it's coming.

You make a great point about heirloom design (and I agree the name sounds a little stodgy). It's got to come down to buying only things you really love, and doing with less but better.

Speaking of sarees/saris - I remember years ago, seeing the most breathtaking saree in a store in NYC - it cost $800 and of course I didn't have it. I thought about charging it and didn't. Well, to this day, I'm haunted by that saree and wish I'd bought it. Meanwhile, I'm sure I have $800 worth of charges for things that are long gone. So - my point I guess - is that we have to change our way of thinking and buying so it comes from the heart, so we are collectors instead of consumers.

Yep- the hats are stunning!
And about heirloom pieces... just thinking aloud here- but isn't that whole concept either old-world-values or one that comes with a few generations of wealth? I'm all about quality and classy things that will last for long, but not everyone is. I know that when I got married and my mom went all over the city (and made phone calls all over the country) to get me the best pressure cooker for rice, steel kadais and vessels for cooking, and idli/dosa grinders, she found that many of the brands that she had been using for the past 40 years have now gone out of business and been replaced by cheaper ones. I know people who would prefer to use an inexpensive non-stick pan (which is so bad for Indian food!) rather than buy an expensive steel wok with a copper bottom. It's the same thing with sarees- it takes a few generations of wealth (and good taste) to invest in the heirloom pieces. Meanwhile, how do younger generations cultivate good taste when they are surrounded by the cheap stuff?

I read that article - the heirloom design concept reminded me of an architectural history professor I once had who lamented how all that was showing up was Tupperware architecture - would you really want to hand down your Tupperware to your grandkids?

Gorgeous! I LOVE those hats and I dearly wish I could pull one off!
I think "everything old is new again" with a sense of accomplishment in making and creating. It's wonderful to see!

great new thought, heirloom design,great point about buying things...

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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