Maedeup Adventures

After my maedeup class at the Dong-Lim Knot Museum, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t leave Seoul without a few supplies to have a go at carrying on what I’d learnt. I was keen to try and find a maedeup specialist, rather than just trying to buy cord at random, as my recent experiences with kumihimo have suggested that sometimes, if you want the right effect and the right feel to a piece, it’s better to start with the right materials. I think this is even more true when you’re a beginner and don’t necessarily understand the challenges that a stiffer or more slippery fabric or cord might pose, as I found out during my first dressmaking project on nice, evasive, easy-to-fray polyester!

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Chojun Textile Museum and More

I really love visiting museums. Where else can you cross a thousand years of history in a few hundred metres, or from central London to deepest Patagonia? I have a sentimental fondness for the V&A in London, and have been to some other great places, such as the breathtaking National Palace Museum in Taipei to the highly specialist Quilt Museum in Boston. Luckily for me, Seoul has a great blend of museums at both ends of the spectrum, from the expanse of the National Museum of Korea, or several, small gems of textile history.

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Maedeup and the Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul

When I knew I’d be going to Seoul, I was really hoping to find a chasu course, and learn a little in particular about the silk embroideries with their dazzling colour schemes, or maybe some bojagi, the traditional wrapping clothes that are often worked in silk, or light gauzy fabrics in a patchwork style. Unfortunately, there was nothing available I could fit into my trip, but I did stumble across a maedeup class instead.

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Dongdaemun Fabric Market, Seoul

This year I happened across the opportunity for my first visit to Seoul, South Korea. For being one of the world’s biggest megacities, cities with a population over 10 million, Seoul has a lot of charm, from a little book library park in the middle of the city, to the rivers that divide it up. The food is excellent and chimaek (chicken and beer) is a genius idea and I would be very happy to see, along with the Japanese izakaya bar traditions exported all over the world. Preferably alongside fabric markets as mindboggling as Dongdaemun.

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Little Lion Yarn

I’ve been without a spinning wheel for quite a while now and have been missing playing with fibre so much that I’ve even tried learning to use a spindle. However, I never got along particularly well with that, until a very fantastic person gave me a 10 g spindle which revolutionised the whole process. If you’re a beginner at spindling, don’t like making aran-weight singles, and don’t enjoy putting dents in your floor, try a lighter spindle. I promise it’s good!

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The Right Materials

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After my first attempt with my new acrylic marudai, I was very keen to start digging into some more kumihimo patterns and start exploring just what I could do. This is where only having 8 bobbins, or tama, was probably a blessing to keep my enthusiasm contained while I developed the skills I’d actually need for some more complex patterns.

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