textiles and fashion

bbc.com
The last surviving sea silk seamstress
Byssus, or sea silk, is one of the most coveted materials in the world – but after more than 1,000 years in the same matrilineal family tree, this ancient thread may soon unravel.
By Eliot Stein

“My grandmother wove in me a tapestry that was impossible to unwind,” Vigo said. “Since then, I’ve dedicated my life to the sea, just as those who have come before me.”

Like the 23 women before her, Vigo has never made a penny from her work. She is bound by a sacred ‘Sea Oath’ that maintains that byssus should never be bought or sold.

Instead, Vigo explained that the only way to receive byssus is as a gift. […]

“Byssus doesn’t belong to me, but to everyone,” Vigo asserted. “Selling it would be like trying to profit from the sun or the tides.”

More recently, a Japanese businessman approached Vigo with an offer to purchase her most famous piece, ‘The Lion of Women’, for €2.5 million. It took Vigo four years to stitch the glimmering 45x45cm design with her fingernails, and she dedicated it to women everywhere.

“I told him, ‘Absolutely not’,” she declared. “The women of the world are not for sale.”

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Jessica So Ren Tang

Impressive portfolio of embroidery work by Chinese American artist

Embroidery is versatile in mimicking the original object in shape and design but still distinct enough to be recognized as something else. The stitches are soft but substantial, more tangible.

With embroidery, I explore my Asian-American born identity-the dualism of being too Asian to be American, and too American to be Asian.

In my object series, I recreate familiar Asian American objects that take on the visual identity of the original object but reject said identity due to its material.

In my girl series, I replace the facial identity of suggestively posed Asian women with Asian textile patterns. The patterned skin creates a broader spectrum of Asian identity; it becomes more ambiguous and fluid as identity moves between the two.

More at her website here [@jessicasorentang also has a tumblr here, Instagram here]

[h/t @otakugangsta]

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Data Weave

Kickstarter from @notendo to make high quality woven textile garments with digital abstraction based on digital files:

Data Weave continues work I began in 2001 that reimagines contemporary digital culture through textile arts to create a continuum of traditional and modern art forms and technologies. Applying my process of color encoding binary data to textiles expands fiber art traditions and addresses current preservation challenges faced by digital media.

Data Weave is a marriage of art forms to the extent that the Jacquard loom’s use of punch cards to weave intricate motifs inspired the use of punch cards for saving and executing programs in early computing. Data Weave extends traditions of embedding symbols in textiles to communicate information by applying my practice of color coding binaries to weaving. This process of encoding data with color produces intricately detailed, cascading motifs that are meant to be woven pixel to stitch. Each pixel represents bits of data showing how weaving can also be understood as pixel art. Furthermore, Data Weave simultaneously illustrates an alternate way of data preservation and a materialization of digital ephemera by tangibly elucidating data structures with color. 

More Here