holiday textiles

Purim Costume Crown, United States, 1920-30. 

This crown was worn as part of a Purim costume of Queen Esther that also included a vest and a sash. The crown was fabricated from an older textile of hand-woven linen embroidered with gilt metallic thread, probably a hand towel, brought to America by the donor’s mother when she emigrated from the Greek island of Corfu in 1913. Home to a Jewish community of long standing, Corfu attracted powers from east and west and for centuries was under the political and cultural influence of Venice. 


Regrowing Cotton from a Store-Bought Bouquet

These past few years, I’ve been noticing decorative bouquets of cotton appearing at floral shops/nurseries during the holiday season, at least around my region in Northeastern US. Still attached to their original stalks, the tufts are sometimes gilded with gold paint or dusted with glitter. What I realized this year was that the cotton bolls are stilled filled with seeds, but they were damn tricky to pluck out. Aaaaaaand they are aliiiiive!!!! Your guess is as good as mine as to the genetic makeup. It’s highly likely these are GMOed, but I’ll be growing these indoors for curiosity. Given my climate, I don’t hold much hope on growing this into maturity, but who knows…