There were many things about my recent trip to Prague that didn’t quite go according to plan. The antiques shop, famous for their stash of antique lace was closed for unexpected reasons, as was one of the museums I had wanted to see, and the whole country went into a ‘State of Emergency’ thanks to You Know What. However, despite my best laid plans going to waste, I found some unexpected gems, including the Museum of Decorative Arts, and completely fell in love with a city that I’m just going to have to go back to.Read More »
Last week was the exhibition that accompanies the Hand and Lock Prize for Embroidery, which is a seriously lavish celebration of embroidery talent. There are several categories to the prize, including Fashion and Textile, with Open and Student levels. Whether you love all the individual exhibition pieces or not, there is no denying that the Prize attracts a veritable cornucopia of talent and is the ultimate ‘up yours’ to anyone who doesn’t think embroidery can be art.Read More »
I don’t remember how I stumbled upon the existing of the Japan House in Kensington, London, but I am very glad I did. Apparently it is supposed to be ‘presenting the very best of Japanese art, design, gastronomy, innovation, and technology’ to deepen our appreciation of what Japan has to offer. It’s a really interesting and honestly incredibly persuasive initiative from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, especially when they put on some incredible textile exhibitions which you can enjoy for free.Read More »
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.
On the north east side of Switzerland is the canton of Appenzell (well, Appenzell Innerrhoden and Appenzell Ausserrhoden if you want to be exact). Confusingly enough, the capital of Appenzell Innerrhoden is a village also called Appenzell, which is the largest village in the canton with a population of a whopping 6000 people.
I’ve blogged before about how a country’s textile history often shaped its social and cultural history, as well as infrastructure and landscape, and Switzerland is no exception to that. While perhaps most famous for the St. Gallen embroideries and lace (and you can see some fantastic examples of that at the local textile museum), Switzerland also has a rich history of silk and cotton production and even passementerie, particularly in the Basel region.
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.
Given the historical importance of textiles to the town and its interest in trying to preserve as much of its history as possible, it probably comes as no surprise that St Gallen has a wonderful museum dedicated to textiles with regularly changing exhibitions if you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend regularly.
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.