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July 05, 2009


I want to thank you for the post on slow cloth. I read it on the Sewing Divas blog and have spent a lot of time thinking about it, returning here now so that I can refresh the concept in my mind.

Sustainable is great, but to me the greatest joy in slow cloth is the deep involvement and passion for each step of the process. This is something that was lacking in my own work for a long time, and something that I don't see on the myriad of blogs I read. I was starting even to feel that I could never keep up with those energizer bunnies of creative sewing endeavors!

But after reading your statement on slow cloth I have realized that is why I feel so burned out! I was burned from trying to make so much so fast....to keep going and going like everyone else! It's overwhelming and uninspiring to say the least.

But today I cooked up a batch of rice paste resist and I will spend time carefully stenciling with it, instead of quickly silkscreening the same image, and I will take joy in the process of cutting more stencils and carefully working through each step in the layers of application. And I will know that for me and maybe for a few others it's enough to spend that time and care to create a few projects this year instead of a few each day or week.

Thanks for the inspiration and words of wisdom!

Fabulous interview. A good reminder on the sustainable, even while it's still difficult to find in cloth but to keep our eyes open and aware and questioning.

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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