A monthly series that focuses on fiber art topics as a way to explore the Library’s extensive circulating collection.

Sustainable Thoughts: Our three featured books this month talk about sustainability in fiber art.

Sustainable Fashion Handbook by Sandy Black (2013), a sourcebook presenting not just the environmental issues associated with the contemporary fashion industry, but also its social impact.

Wild Fibers Magazine  (Vol 9 Issue 3, Fall 2012), highlights the people creating in fiber around the world, in order to understand the role natural fibers have played in developing cultures. Featuring both the makes: spinners; weavers; and other artists; as well as the behind-the-scenes workers: farmers; nomads; and shepherds. This issue delves into Gandhi’s clothes as a representation of his politics: “The simple dhoti (or loincloth) that Gandhi wore represented India’s ability to produce, manufacture and clothe its people without reliance on foreign imports and support.” Creating the fabric served as both a symbol and a practicality, giving people the tools to gain their freedom.

Ornament Magazine (Issue 34:3, 2011), includes contemporary, ethnographic, and ancient history, anthropology, and archaeology articles. Curator/writer Roxane Shaughnessy discusses the example of palm-bark rainwear from China as a return to sustainable products. Bark’s inherent rain-resistant qualities trumps plastic, manmade rain gear.

Each of these publications is available in our library.  See the new “Art Speaks” shelf to find the featured books from each post.

Further Reading Online:

Sol Inspirations is a nonprofit organization that “advocates for responsible clothing, styling and beauty products and educates consumers about how these products make our world a healthier and better place to live.”

The Campaign for Wool is a global promotion to raise awareness about the natural, sustainable and many unique functional benefits provided by wool. By encouraging mutually rewarding collaboration between an international community of wool growers, manufacturers, retailers, the international design community of both interiors and fashion, as well as embracing the commercial craft sector and artisan community; it is unique in the way it has united a diverse network to promote real wool.

Founded on the banks of the Cannon River, the Faribault Woolen Mill is a living testament to American craftsmanship. Founded in 1865, the year Lincoln died and the Civil War ended, Faribault woolens are renowned for their comfort and quality. From providing woolen blankets for pioneers heading west to comforting our troops through two world wars, our woolens are woven into American history.

Visit Textile Center Pat O’Connor Library and make your own connections with our collection.
Contributors: Nancy Mambi, Librarian and Diane Knights, Volunteer