Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

QTC - Africa


“We are Africans NOT because we are born in Africa but because Africa is born in us.” The first time I saw that quote with an image of the African continent posted on my sister’s page, I was surprised. After all, we grew up in Kansas. However, Kay Triplett spent about 10 years of her non-textile career living, working, or being connected to Africa. Kay’s living in Africa is the reason I learned how to dye adire or indigo resist. She learned to love the people, the culture, and the artists. Being a textile lover, she particularly learned to love the African textiles, which she personally collected. She helped struggling African artists by supporting their art through purchases. She took lessons from experts in the field to learn the craft and purchased treasures from art centers...
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Sample, Sample, Who's Got the Sample Book?


The hallway that leads to the Colonial Williamsburg Exhibition “Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and Home” was lined with images from a sample book. This sample book is also featured in the display case in the exhibition. Hundreds of fabric samples provide the viewer with a wider perspective on the printed textiles available to consumers. The folding swatch book unfurls to 8 feet and contains 430 different samples of cotton and cotton/linen fabric. The book was the printed goods of Thomas Smith of Manchester, England. However, the firm went bankrupt in 1788. The book provides us with specifics on fabric available for clothing prior to 1788. In the case of Annie Hayslip’s book, it tells the story on one family and friends. It provides a glimpse into what fabrics were available to them and use for...
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Colonial Williamsburg Conference: Printed Fashions


This year Colonial Williamsburg is offering a conference on “Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and the Home, March 26-28, 2107. Every year the CW team puts together interesting symposiums, but this year the guest speaker line up is amazing! Many of the presenters are coming from across the pond, so it’s the perfect opportunity to learn from British experts without going overseas. Rosemary Crill, now retired from the Victoria and Albert Museum, is still an honorary research associate. She will be discussing, “When Print Meets Pen: Block-printing and Hand-drawing in Indian Cotton Textiles.” Other presenters from overseas include John Styles, honorary senior research fellow, Victoria and Albert Museum, Bridget Long, visiting research fellow in history, University of Hertfordshire, and Philip Sykas, research associate from Manchester School of Art. Colonial Williamsburg have also included some talented Americans...
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Quilting Vintage...Oh My!


Quilting vintage has become the short hand phrase for taking a vintage linen or textile and quilting it with a domestic machine or long arm. The “Oh my!” that comes along with a viewing of the new textile work usually has two completely divergent meanings. “Oh my, how dare that quilter ruin an antique or vintage quilt top or blocks with machine quilting! That piece should have been hand quilted in the style of the period!” Or the other side, “Oh my isn’t that a beautiful work of art! The fiber artist has brought new life to a textile that would have been destroyed or languished in a junk bin. ” The International Quilt Festival – Houston had two special exhibitions that showcased this genre of textiles: For the Love of Linens, and Twisted. Cindy Needham...
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Artists of Huipils


So its fall and thoughts are turning to winter arriving soon…NOT! With most of the country experiencing hotter than normal temperatures, my thoughts keep drifting back to the clothes of Mexico. I did actually see more on the Baja peninsula than indigo. Although the indigo tunic attracted my eye, there were other garments which simply amazed me. These huipils are the traditional dress of indigenous women from central Mexico and Central America. The tunics are made of two or three pieces of hand woven fabric which are then stitched together allowing for an opening for the head. The sides if stitched together also leave an opening for arms. The garment can be short (worn more as a blouse) or long for a full length tunic. Huipil, 1875-1890, Warp-faced plain weave cotton; red cotton is dyed with...
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