Textile arts have a long history of being a vessel to express ideas, feelings, and stories. As other forms of art, it connects the natural and the spiritual; the mind with the hands; nature and culture blend together as threads are intertwined and fabric is sewn together. In this article, we will explore diverse ways in which textile arts are a form of Escrita Com Luz.
What are Textile Arts?
Textile arts are the numerous forms of plastic expression that use fibers (natural or synthetic) as a material. These include, but are not limited to sewing, knitting, weaving, quilting, among other minor forms. Outlining each of these:
Knitting is the process of intertwining a single strand or multiple strands of the same thread to form different patterns and wearable pieces. Knitting can be done by hand only, with the help of needles, hooks, or a loom.
Weaving is the process of intertwining two different kinds of thread together to form a fabric. It is possible to form a single color cloth, as well as patterns and figures with several colors. It is usually done in a loom.
Sewing is the process of fixing two pieces of fabric together with the help of thread to craft a wide variety of objects with it. It can be done by hand or with the help of various sewing machines with different purposes and finishes.
Embroidery is a technique that combines sewing and knitting, in which thick thread or ribbons are sewn through a piece of cloth that is usually white to create different figures.
Patchwork is a technique that involves large pieces of fabric as a canvas and smaller pieces with different shapes and colors, called patches, the latter are sewn into the canvas to form interesting arranges and compositions.
Quilting is a sewing technique in which fabric patches with several different figures and motifs are sewn together to form a blanket or ‘quilt’.
Shadow-folding is a technique used in quilting and other textile arts which combines the folding techniques of origami with sewing anchor points to make various delicate figures with the folded fabric, mostly tessellations.
Textile Arts across History
Since most materials used in textile arts are biodegradable and its value goes beyond something ornamental to practical pieces to wear or use daily, textile works are often hard to preserve; however, notable examples from pieces made hundreds and thousands of years ago are available today to admire, with some discoveries in works and technique still being made currently.
Some of the oldest manifestations of textile art are the rugs made by weavers from Persia and Egypt, with designs regarding religion, history and politics, with some going back to the Bronze Age. In the ancient India, back to 3000 B.C, evidence of textile expressions are found in clothing and carpetry. Different accounts of textile works made with wormsilk are found as well in China, of such high quality that would drive explorers and traders to form the Silk Road, a trading route that connected China, India, the Middle East and Europe since 100 B.C approximately. Mesoamerican and North American accounts of weaving are manifested in utility items such as carpets, ponchos and weaved hammocks. In European culture, the confection level and colors were used to mark social status as well as India, which had the lead in textile arts up until the Industrial Age.
Haute Couture as a form of Escrita Com Luz
Haute Couture is a term derived from French, meaning “high/elegant sewing”. Used commonly as ‘couture’ to shorten the term, it encompasses the design, manufacturing and trade of high-quality, custom-made clothing that is often regarded as high fashion; such apparel is for women in its majority.
But, how can a concept so associated with commercialism be an expression of one’s inner light? The answer is in the design phase. The act of creation itself is a symbolic manifestation of our divine essence, and this act goes deeper when we take into account the sources of inspiration haute couture designers draw from to make a unique piece of clothing: these sources can be from nature, such as patterns and textures found in animals, plants, flowers and natural scenery; or artificial, as in the shapes and colors found in man-made city landscapes, shapes thought to stylize the human anatomy or highlight its features; even other works and forms of art can be sources of inspiration, with happens often in runway shows and concept art ‘happenings’.