Hello Voyager

Textile Tours at Home: Elizabeth Keckley, Dapper Dan and more!

As the bitterly cold days drag on, I try to embrace the mindset of folks who live in harsh winters every year. In Denmark, they practice Hygge, which focuses on creating an atmosphere of coziness and conviviality. For me, that means gallons of hot tea, twinkling white lights, and lots of cat snuggling.

As progress builds in the fight against the pandemic, I’m feeling more confident that we’ll be able to enjoy our scheduled textile tours this year. I’m looking forward to getting vaccinated and feeling safe to travel once again.

The Grand Swedish Textile Tour is on our radar for the fall – I’m sure the residents of Stockholm know a thing or two about getting through a harsh winter. Luckily, October should be a beautiful time to visit. Won’t you join us?

In the meantime, while away the cold nights with some handpicked textile entertainment I’ve shared below.

Betsy B.

Learn: Elizabeth Keckley

Elizabeth Keckley was a former slave who bought her own freedom, moved to Washington D.C., and started her own business as a dressmaker. Her most notable client? None other than first lady Mary Lincoln. Learn more about Elizabeth Keckley ➔

Join: Kantha in Bangladesh: From Hidden Corners to Public View

On March 14, the Textile Arts Council is hosting an online screening and discussion of THREADS, a documentary film that tells the story of how Surayia Rahman transformed Kantha into an internationally recognized art form. Watch the trailer and sign up for the viewing ➔

Get Inspired: The Quilts of Gee’s Bend

This is the kind of weather that inspires you to start quilting. Probably the most famous and influential quilters in America are the women from the Gee’s Bend community. Learn their story and check out this slideshow of their amazing improvisational work ➔

Listen: Nedra Bonds on Hello Atelier

A few years ago I interviewed Nedra Bonds about her work as a textile artist. She uses the non-confrontational medium of textiles to make statements and generate change. Listen to our chat 

Read: The Makers Keeping the Ancient Art of Weaving Alive

This is a great article on Mexican artisans who are using ancient weaving techniques to create vibrant, contemporary art. Read the article here ➔

Read: Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem

Looking for a new book to read? I recommend checking out the memoir of Dapper Dan, a designer who was a street fashion trailblazer. His book is a fascinating read about growing up in Harlem and hustling to make a living during the drug epidemics of the 1980s. Find it at your library or favorite independent bookstore ➔