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January 30, 2010


I vote for not starting a new blog ... enjoy whatever direction you take, and keep it here, where so many people are already following you. You can still be Red Thread Studio but maybe you would change your subtitle to reflect the current vision. My two cents. :-)

I haven't notoiced that a lot of blogs have both fast and slow cloth projects going at the same time. (I limit my online time and visit only one or two blogs a day besides writing my own.)

However, I think that if a maker identifies her work as slow, she means that it is thoughtful and respectful. It all goes together. When one slows down to touch and handle cloth and really look at it - and hand stitching is a most satisfying way to do that isn't it? - one is changed forever.

I think that you should relax and allow things to happen. Allow people to use those words slow cloth. There's a huge momentum right now because of the face book group - and if that continues to build, that's a good thing, isn't it?

Hi Judy,
Thank you so much for your kind words. I always appreciate your perspective and your presence.
I think what weve been trying to say is that Slow Cloth isnt a thing -- it isnt one project -- its not like you have a slow cloth project versus another project that would be fast cloth. Its a philosophy and an approach to working that informs everything you do with textiles and fiber. In that way, it doesnt even have to be a piece of cloth -- it can be knitting, or designing, or weaving, or making a garment, or even simply collecting fine textiles.
Thats why Im surprised to see so many bloggers talking about their slow cloth project -- I dont know what that means. Slow cloth, as Ive defined it, is a way of working and approaching the work; its broadening your experience of what textiles and creating with fabric and fiber means.
Does that make sense?

I believe that I understand what you mean by slow cloth. I believe that I have been making slow cloths for thirty years. I have described them both as slow cloth and as slow art. For me personally, working slow is not a trend, or new. It is the way I work. I was inspired to work this way after seeing huge cloths made in Africa and India in the textile museum in Toronto. I am glad that you and the others who have founded slow cloth of facebook have tried to make a space for honouring this kind of work by artists today, slowing down in our contemporary whiz-world.
By the way, your intellect and ability to express it is awesome. Thanks for being you and for maintaining this blog.

Beautiful mandala !

catching up a bit here- nice to see the mandala in process.looks like such relaxing work. just what one needs at times.

yes, and as slow cloth continues its journey it will be taken up and cast aside along the way being both embraced and eschewed. either way, it is causing people to think a bit and wonder, which is quite worth it in my opinion.

Thank you for starting the slow cloth group, and for sharing your thoughts on the subject. I understand it must be frustrating to think that some people aren't quite getting it, but I'm sure everyone's heart is in the right place. I would love to see a slow cloth book.

I really enjoy the variety of your blog, and was glad for your facebook page, the idea of slow cloth is inspiring and I hope growing. It is very in line with the links for cloth artists you post.

The poem is beautiful, and I for one enjoy the heart that is felt underneath your entries, even if you are keeping it to the business.

Just a wandering reader.


Beautiful mandala! Must be mezmerizing/meditative to work on it. I'm glad you started the slow cloth group. I think your principles define slow cloth very well. I expect the conversation will grow to include more than hand-stitching as more people who practice other forms of slow cloth become aware of the group.

And lately every where it seems it is hard to not be offended. I loved Obama's speech myself and enjoyed his question and answer period with the republicans even better. I for one voted for Obama because of those question and answer periods. He did them during the primaries too and for a wonderful change that man has an answer for every question. May not be the answer people are looking for but it is nice to have a thinking man in the White House(sorry but I had to comment). I think I get what you mean about the hand stitching and slow cloth. It's not just hand stitching but those beautiful quilt artists who do things by machine that just take your breath away when you realize just how long it took them to get it just right. IMO it is doing work the way work is meant to be done. With time and effort and care. No matter what the medium.(do I have that right?).

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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