As an embroiderer, it’s often difficult to find shops that stock more exciting thread than just the standard DMC/Anchor floss ranges. It can even be difficult to find places that stock embroidery-suitable fabrics that are more exciting than 14 count Aida in white. This is why it’s always so exciting to find a place like The London Bead Co., which while formally being a shop for all things small and shiny, has one of the most beautiful thread collections I’ve ever seen. I think only Old World Designs comes close!Read More »
One of the nice things about being in Switzerland, as well as the beautiful scenery, perfect trains and wonderful cheese, is the number of Bernina stores dotted about the place. Some of them are in surprising places, it often feels like you’ll see one in every small village, but they are usually excellent haberdasheries as well as sewing machine technology wonderlands.
I’ve been debating for a while when would be a good time to publish several of my posts that have been languishing from trips I took back when international travel was still a routine part of my job. As things tentatively start to open up, in those countries at least, perhaps now is a good time to give some airtime to two truly excellent fabric stores in Italy.
I’ve ventured far out of my way to visit craft shops before, some of which were rather off the beaten track, but I’m not sure any have proved quite as impossible to get to Zürcher Stadler. This isn’t so much because it is in the middle of nowhere, or because the sat-nav can’t find it, but because the road network leading to the place has a strategically placed no entry sign that seems to make it impossible to enter the estate where the shop is. I won’t say how we overcame that particular obstacle but plan your visit and route in advanced.
It’s very easy to feel that you’re in the middle of nowhere in Switzerland. Even Geneva, which is the second most populated city in Switzerland, has a population of less than two hundred thousand. The five biggest cities represent 40 % of the total population, making it relatively easy to ‘escape to the countryside’ where there are some excellent hidden gems of craft shops.
As well as the wonderful local architecture and the delightful Museum Appenzell, there is another historical textile treat outside of the main village, the Appenzeller Volkskunde-Museum, which also affords you the opportunity to enjoy the local, rolling hills and scenery. This is the folk museum dedicated to the local working culture and heritage.
After a fascinating visit to the open-air museum in Ballenberg, the next stop on the tour was to see another geographical feature Switzerland is famous for, lakes. Apparently, Switzerland has a total of 103 lakes of varying sizes, impressive given the total area of the country only amounts to 41 285 km2 (15 940 sq mi) with a lot of mountains to squeeze in that area too.
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My visit to Dongdaemun Fabric Market in Seoul last year left me with the impression that this was one of the best fabric markets in the world. Having the chance to revisit it this year, I’m pleased to report that it is just as fabulous as ever with plenty to see and do.
Kiel is a charming city in the north of Germany, only about an hour and half from Denmark, with plenty of beautiful waterfronts. Maybe inspired by the slightly… brisk weather during the winter though, it also seems to be home to a surprising amount of spinning, weaving and wooly goodness.
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.