There is nothing quite like getting stuck into a new thing. You haven’t quite yet realised how impossibly hard it will be to reproduce all the maddeningly complex projects you’ve been eyeing up on Pinterest and you’re new enough that you’re pleased by any new creation, no matter how wonky the stitches or sad the seams are.
It was back in Kyoto, at the Nishijin Textile Centre, that I first had a go at weaving. Nishijin is the legendary textiles district that gives its name to Nishijin-ori, the fabric produced there. It is known for its quality and the incredibly intricate patterns and designs in the weave that are often used for highly elaborate obis. In more modern times, nishijin-ori is often used in neckties or gamaguchi, the metal clasp purses that are very popular in Japan.
The trip to London concluded to one of my favourite museums, the Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum. Whenever I’m in London, I always try and visit the V&A and I’ve still only seen a small fraction of the incredible collection they have.
Everything about the V&A is fabulous – the building, the exhibitions, the entire scale of the museum. If you can think of it, they probably have a collection on it. I’ve seen everything from a collection of locks and locking mechanisms, to armour for animals alongside more traditional pieces of art.
As it is a British national museum, entrance is absolutely free. You do have to pay to see the special exhibitions (tickets are around £15 for non-members) they have but that is it. They have an extensive gift shop and cafes if you want to support the work they do, which I would wholeheartedly encourage. There are few museums with collections as extensive and varied as the V&A’s.