World Textile Day Wales report

Last Saturday, World Textile day came to the Minerva Arts Centre in sunny Llanidloes, close enough for me and some of my friends to make a day trip of it.african fabricsAfter an initial browse around the stalls of gorgeous fabrics, textiles, yarns, beads and all kinds of loveliness, we settled down to a talk and slide show by John Gillow.  John has put together an amazing collection of textiles from his travels around the Islamic world, and was full of tales about where these came from and the people who made and wore them.  Sadly, the light in the room meant the details on the slides of the fabulous embroidery and weaving were a bit hard to see, but there was still plenty to enjoy.

Best of all, John had brought a selection of things along with him that we could pick up and touch!  I’d never heard of ‘sprang’ before, a precursor to knitting, but I’m quite smitten with the feel and texture of it!   There was also an exhibition of various textiles from around the world on display, again the light in this room was very bright so my pictures didn’t come out so well.  This bedsheet-sized embroidered piece was actually done in very bright, jewel-like colours.embroideryBack in the trade area, I had a hard time resisting adding yet more quilting fabric to my stash when I saw these Japanese kimono fabrics japanesequilt

and these African wax prints.Africanquilt

But it wasn’t just the fabric junkies who were in danger, witness my friend Spike falling for these hand-woven African baskets!spikesbaskets

I spotted some beautiful carved Indian printing blocks at the Textile Traders stand: I’ve been wanting to have a go at block printing for ages, so I came away with this little one to start me off, plus a pair of dinky Indian bells for something on my 2014 sewing projects list.  I think this was my favourite stand at the whole show actually, so we may have to organise a little trip to their shop in Bishop’s Castle soon!bells&blockI wasn’t able to stay for the second talk later on, but it was a lovely day, full of wonderful colours, textures, and truly inspirational work.  I think we all came away happy!3amigos