The Art of Four-Selvaged Cloth

Bob MillerHow-To

The recent ATA TextileTalk on “The Andean Textile Tradition of Four-Selvaged Cloth” by Elena Phipps, PhD, highlights one of the amazing technical features of Andean woven textiles, something that casual textile lovers who are not weavers themselves often overlook. Many of the finest traditional Andean textiles are woven to completion on all four edges, producing a finished textile which has no cut edges—it is simply untied from the loom. Weavers in the Andean highlands have been creating beautiful, uncut, four-selvage textiles for thousands of years. Such uncut textiles have a deep connection to the worldview and spirituality of Andean and other indigenous cultures of the Americas. This amazing weaving technique, virtually unknown in cultures beyond the Americas, is possible with traditional Andean looms … Read More

How to Safely Store (Most) Textiles

Christina GartonHow-To

Keeping your textiles on a shelf away from light and potential water damage isn’t enough when it comes to delicate antique or heirloom cloth. Sometimes improperly storing cloth can cause as much damage as improperly displaying it.  Roll, Don’t Fold The biggest mistake made with many heirloom/antique textiles—especially those brought out infrequently, such as extra-special table linens—is folding them before storing them. Any time you fold a piece of cloth, you’re creating places of weakness at the folds and especially at the corners. For modern pieces of cloth or those used regularly, folding isn’t a big deal, but for fabrics that are already brittle or that will be in storage long-term, folding causes damage to the cloth. Anyone who frequently … Read More

Tips and Techniques for Hanging Textiles

Marilyn MurphyHow-To

“How do I hang this?” Without a doubt, this is one of the most frequently asked questions we hear. Displaying textiles on your walls allows you to be surrounded by exquisite artisan beauty at all times. But by the very nature of this art being constructed of fiber, there are inherent characteristics requiring specific ways to mount and display textiles in order to preserve them. So what are some of the considerations for displaying a textile? Do you want it framed on a background cloth, hung on a decorative hanger, or mounted so just the piece shows? Each of these requires a different preparation. A proper mount needs to account for any weakness in the cloth, be aesthetically compatible with … Read More