Feb 15, 2019

Lidewij Edelkoort on Folklore

Embellished Textiles - 4 Highlights

‘There is future in folklore’ Lidewij Edelkoort states at the start of her trend presentation for summer 2020. In different corners of the world, people share similar ideas about how to dye fabric, weave colours, embroider flowers and embellish textiles. Edelkoort predicts a textile revival, and opportunities for craft producers. Craftscurator attended the presentation and picked the most interesting insights for makers and designers, working in the home and interior industry.

The fashion industry has reached a dead end, Edelkoort stated once again. It can’t go on repeating styles and tricks, leaving behind endless streams of waste and pollution. Edelkoort believes there is future in folklore, in cultural expression that is shared by people. We should focus on what we share, what binds us, instead of what divides us.

The spot-on images illustrating Edelkoort’s talk are optimistic and expressive. It is remarkable how intercultural the visual presentation is - blending and respecting all cultures. Edelkoort also addresses cultural appropriation - adoption of certain elements from another culture without the consent of people who belong to that culture. A difficult subject, she says, because craft and culture is constantly developing and changing. Simultaneous developments are happening, and across cultures similar techniques and patterns have been used for centuries. Edelkoort sees those similarities as hopeful, something that connects us. What is disturbing, of course, is the blatant use and abuse of cultural expressions by copycats, she says.

Folklore is often expressed in the embellishment of textiles. Here are 4 highlights selected by Craftscurator, with inspiring contemporary craft examples;

Embroidery - Expressive floral embroidery, think of the Romanian farmer’s blouse which also was a source of inspiration for Matisse and other artists. Besides figurative patterns, there are lots of interesting geometrical patterns. Expressive does not necessarily mean bright colours, since there is also tonal embroidery, but it is always abundant. Knot embroidery creating a terry-like or tufted texture. Embroidery with beads and bugles, too. And most importantly: embroidery on top of a woven pattern*

Embellishment - Bring out the pompoms, tassels, fringes and other techniques to adorn textiles. Again, the technique is applied in an abundant manner, but colours can be subdued or more saturated. Checks and stripes are great backdrops for these embellishments.

Ribbons, borders and selvedges - Woven and knotted ribbons, lots of Latin American influences. Textiles are often framed by bold borders. Often selvedges play a role to give a pop of colour to a product. Handwoven ribbons and strips that are narrow are often stitched together to create a generous throw or bold cushion cover.

Appliqué and patchwork - Patching and quilting is used to make textiles thicker and more textured. Recycled textiles are often used for patchwork, creating unique and interesting effects. Reverse appliqué is done in Colombia and Panama, as well as in India and Bangladesh. Intricate and bold patterns in geometrical patterns.

Folklore unifies
South African embroidery by Mahatsara
Reverse appliqué technique
by Mola Sasa from Colombia
Embellished textiles from Mexico
by Onora Casa
Embroidery from Turkey and Jordan
by Nosouj
Handwoven and knotted cushion cover
by Po!Paris
Kuna appliqué technique
by Colombian Mola Sasa
Embellished cushion covers from Colombia
by Ames Design
Handembroidered textiles from Morocco
by Léo Atlante
Embroidery on a keffiyeh scarf
by Sep from Jordan
Peruvian frazada textiles
Narrow strips stitched together