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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Hello 2019!

Welcome to the first post of 2019, what I hope will be a happy year for all of you filled with piles of shiny inspiration and crafting time. If I look back over the last year, before I start looking forward into the next one, it has definitely been an interesting time as well as the year where this blog has grown to over 100 posts!

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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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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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