Visiting St. Gallen, Switzerland

My first adventure of 2019 was to St Gallen, a Swiss town famous for its bustling textile trade and, if you want to be fair to all the official Swiss languages, otherwise known as Sankt Gallen/Saint-Gall/San Gallo/Son Gagl. As you might guess, its history in the embroidery, lacemaking and fashion industries has left a footprint of the city of great interest to anyone with a passing interest in textiles, crafts and art and this charming little place has plenty more feasts for the eyes as well.

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Papillons à Nyon

Visiting the little town of Nyon, Switzerland, you might have the impression that this picturesque point on Lac Leman is a quiet, sleepy place, perfect for sipping coffee and strolling around, gazing the medieval architecture. Tucked away amongst the beautiful buildings and several thousand years of history though is a beautiful little shop that is a must-see for any embroiderer, Canvaes Folies.

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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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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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Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles

Somehow I wasn’t so laden with lovely new fabrics after my tour of Berkeley that I couldn’t find the energy for my final stop, the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles. Really I should have gone earlier in the day, as it’s actually only about a fifteen minute walk from Stonemountain and Daughters but it is very conveniently located near Ashby BART station so my tired feet could escape back to SF relatively easily. Even more convenient considering how many extra bags of embroidery supplies I ended up with from here!

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