Cultural Threads Symposium, Feb 2015

Over the next week, the SITselect blog will look at the projects discussed in the Cultural Threads symposium held at Central Saint Martins, London.

The Cultural Threads symposium marked the launch of the book, Cultural Threads: transnational textiles today (Hemmings, 2015). The publication draws on a wealth of contemporary art and design to address issues concerning cross-cultural encounter.

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TIRAZ: Widad Kawar Home for Arab Dress

TIRAZ is the newly designed centre in Jordan for Widad Kamel Kawar’s collection of Arab dress. This is the most extensive collection of Arab textiles from the 19th and 20th century.


Created over the course of a lifetime the collection includes more than 2000 traditional garments, including those for celebration, everyday and religious use. The variety of styles, colours, and patterns reflects 19th and 20th century Arab cultural affiliations and social structures, offering an insight into the cross-fertilisation between Jordanian, Syrian, Bedouin and other Arab cultures.

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LYDIA WOOLDRIDGE: New Blogger for SITselect

Lydia studied Textile Design at Loughborough University; this included a year studying Communication Design at Hochschule RheinMain in Germany (2009-2013). Since then she has completed an MA in Modern Languages at the University of Bristol (Visual Culture pathway). Lydia’s research explores the use of textiles to express transcultural encounter. Her MA dissertation, Appropriations of the Oriental Carpet in Contemporary Art, analysed artwork that adopts the oriental carpet as its subject matter to engage with transcultural issues.

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Maker in Focus Juliette Bigley

We are delighted to announce that the next Maker in Focus, SITSelect’s partnership with the very lovely Guild at 51, will feature silversmith Juliette Bigley. Working in silver and base metals, her work is both sculptural and functional and involves creating relationships within the piece, between the pieces and between the pieces and the viewer.

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Selected

This post is a shameless celebration of SITSelect’s fabulous new initiative, Selected, a bi-monthly printed journal produced in celebration of makers, making and brilliant creative people who make our lives more beautiful and enjoyable.

People such as Sebastian Cox who makes very pleasing contemporary furniture from wood he coppices himself; glass artists Sally Fawkes and Richard Jackson, artist- weaver Jilly Edwards, designer maker Joseph Hartley, jeweller Mei-Ling de Buitlear, textile designers Amy Gair and Anna Gravelle, fabric and wallpaper makers Lewis and Wood, interior designers with a social conscience Nadia Oliver and Natasha Berri and collector of contemporary applied arts Charmian Adams.

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Future Heritage at Decorex

I have just returned from Decorex and what an unexpectedly inspiring day it was. The theme for this year’s show was the Georgians and the organisers really did embrace the era’s spirit of innovation and craftsmanship, presenting several In the Making feature areas (I watched Watts of Westminster hand block some wallpaper and Nepalese master weavers create a rug for FRONT London) and a Future Heritage showcase.

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Highlights from the London Design Festival

There is so much to see at this year’s London Design Festival that my head is spinning. It will take time to digest, but in the meantime these are my highlights:

1. Xenia Moseley’s ladder for Richard and Ab Rogers. Part of the Wish List project on show at the V&A, this is a thing of simple, functional beauty with an added surprise in the shape of a leather slung seat and a folding table.

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Loophouse Blankets

The noon day sun is still hot but the sharp early mornings are a sign that the season is changing and that means we all have an excuse to go shopping. Top of my wish list for the coming autumn is a lambswool blanket by Loophouse. (£195, 140x190cm, including fringe.)

Founded by Lorraine Statham back in 1992, Loophouse is firmly established as one of the UK’s most interesting and innovative rug companies, but this is the first time the brand has used some of  its contemporary repeat prints on blankets. And what a great idea it is: the designs are bold and graphic, the colours rich and the yarns soft. Blanket perfection in other words.

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innovation, excellence and creativity