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January 19, 2010


I'm so glad I found your blog! I recently just started up my own to organize my thoughts about the anthropological/political economic aspects of craft and sewing (with the addition of looking at the whole thing through race) and I couldn't find anyone interested in all these things out there!
But you're out there! And are so knowledgeable about it all. I'm really excited to start learning more about slow cloth and I hope to stand on the shoulders of giants. You have one new dedicated reader from now on.

Thank you so much this slow cloth. It has put into words exactly why I love hand sewing. I never needed an excuse, of course :)
It is very gratifying to know that there are many more like me. Doing a thing slowly, lovingly for the pureness of the process.

Hi Elaine, I signed up on FB for slow cloth group and that made me excited. It's all about taking more time to really and truly and deeply enjoy our endeavors, just as you described it! As they say, "take the time to smell the roses." Sustainability is what they did in the "old days," before plastic bags and before sending your clothes to the thrift store. Everything was recycled and used umpteenth times, and they still took time to smell the roses. They may have smelled the roses first! :) Slow cloth is a reminder to slow down and really feel the moment and treasure it.

Thank you for the lovely comments! I really appreciate them.

My mother was a quilter. Her work was deeply involved, from design concept to piecing to quilting, and finally to gifting. The family dog would always christen the quilt by sleeping on it while it was being sewn.

These are good, happy memories for me. Slow cloth makes an impression on the young, even if they are not aware of it at the time. I used to think fabric was boring. Now look at me!

Elaine, thank you so much for the concept, the fb group and this invaluable blog. I've posted a link to your 1-13-08 post on my little tumblr blog. Keep on doing what you do!

I had not come across the term until Jude mentioned it and then I came here from her blog. My belief is that once a person develops a consciousness it is nearly impossible to go back to an older, less informed way of thinking. I find that "slow cloth" is in my mind these days in whatever I do: run errands and enter stores, touch my textiles, sew by hand or machine, knit, read textile-related books and magazines and blogs. I want to embrace this concept and set it as a standard for these things in my life. I will surely credit you, Elaine, for this idea, and if I have not in the past, please forgive this error. I think the Facebook site is such a great idea!

I'm sure that the different uses of "slow cloth" is coming out of the broader uses of "slow" for slow art and slow living in general. There seems to be a slow movement for everything these days - slow food, slow medicine, slow money... But textiles are the perfect showcase for the qualities of "slow," and you have organized the concept and written about it elegantly. Hats off to you!

see, now this is the introduction-type post i was looking for in the FB group, when i initiated an "introductions" thread. helps a great deal to form a picture of whom one is in dialogue (or not as the case may be) with. thank you for this.

yes, the term does seem to be getting used in unintended ways. but over time, true slow cloth emerges.

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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