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My Mother was a textile collector

Filed Under: General

My Mother was a textile collector

My mother was a monumental force in my life. She specialised in Islamic textiles from Central Asia and travelled the world to find out all she could about textiles. Her love first started with a indigo hill-tribe piece that she unearthed in Thailand, and from there she began a journey of discovery. She would often return home laden with items of extraordinary colour, craftsmanship and history; antique turban fabric, ikats and embroidered suzanis, vintage cotton Russian prints, Indian ralli quilts and so much more.

She died in 2008 in a desert camp in Rajasthan, India, doing the things she loved best. Her final textile love was the paraga, a woven horsehair veil, edged in indigo, worn as a head covering by Islamic women in Central Asia. She tracked down the last remaining gypsy who knew how to weave one and had a lesson in its unique technique.

Mum was a textile collector, teacher & globetrotter, who revelled in colour, technique, travel, history, people, knowledge, traditional crafts & how they were passed down through generations. She has instilled the same passions and interests in me, and I am constantly referring back to her textile collection for colour combinations and design.

Our childhood home was filled with the objects she brought back from her globetrotting (even the everyday plates we ate off had come from some far off land) and her ability to weave in the old with the new, blend travel souvenirs with the everyday, informs my layered aesthetic to this very day.

My mother not only encouraged every single craft class or workshop I dreamt of doing, but also showed me how to look at the world in detail & take note of the colours, sounds, & natural compositions. She opened my eyes & my heart to the romance of travel.

Filed 10th May, 2019
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