Thursday, March 1, 2012

Threads that bind us

When my mother was married to my father in a small Scottish town named Bathgate many years ago, her beloved friend gave to her a Welsh tapestry blanket to celebrate the occasion and provide a functional necessity for their married life together.
She brought that blanket with her when my parents packed their belongings into a trunk, said goodbye to their families and took their four children to the other side of the world.

My Spoonflower textile design Welsh Blanket was inspired by this very blanket.

 Mum's Welsh tapestry blanket

When I married my sweetheart some 8 years ago, my lovely friend Sarah sent to me all the way from Mongolia (where she was working) a beautiful Kyrgyzstani marriage textile called a Tush kyiz.

Traditionally, women in Kyrgyzstan make the Tush kyiz for their child who is to be wed. It is to be hung above the marriage bed, in a yurt in the old days.The marriage textile has a raw edge at the bottom, to symbolise the unfinished life of the couple.

My Kyrgyzstani Tush kyiz

Detail of stitching

Backing of Tush kyiz

What a gorgeous way to celebrate a marriage, the gift of a textile which is traditionally made by women. The creation of textiles is in many traditions, women's work. But who better to weave, dye, sew, felt and knit love and meaning into these fibres?

Do you have a textile that was given you to celebrate a wedding, birth or other occasion?
I would love to hear about it