Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

Font size: +

Glimpses of Greece

As you may have noticed, my sister Kay and I recently returned from a trip to Greece and some of the islands. We did all of the regular tourist things: seeing the Acropolis/Parthenon, the archeological museum, the Acropolis/Parthenon Museum. We also had to visit folk art museums and history museums to find textiles.

As always when visiting a new country, we have much to learn about the textiles of the area. We didn’t expect to find quilts in such a toasty climate, but we were thrilled to see all the different types of handwork…lots of amazing, detailed handwork!

Each island and/or tribe had their own traditional costume filled with decoration. I have no idea how many hours of handwork went into making the clothing, sheets or bedding, but it was a joy to see.

Greece is considered the birthplace of western philosophy, literature, mathematics, and democracy. It is also the birthplace of many decorative arts design, including fabric. I expected to see the Greek key, although I didn’t know there were so many variations.

I couldn’t believe how closely this 395 BC decorative stone matched the Hewson fabric border. (John Hewson was an early American textile printer, if you are interested in Hewson reproduction fabric or Greek key fabric follow this link.) I have no idea if Hewson saw this stonework or a drawing of it or was simply modifying a design that someone else created from this, but it is hard to miss the similarities. Clearly good design lasts forever, recycled in whatever form the specific generation envisions.