According to a site I often use, May is Textile Month. I was unable to verify that, but I found a lot of interesting information along the way. Enter “textile month” into a search engine, and you will be directed to Textile Month International, which is not a holiday, but a periodical. Their website says that they have “long been established as the leading international magazine for businesses involved in the advanced textile manufacturing industry, from spinning and weaving through dyeing and finishing to finished garment make-up.” Some of the categories on their site are, Natural Fibres and Yarns, Man-Made Fibres and Yarns, Knitting and Weaving, Technical Textiles, and Nonwovens. This is apparently big business, because a one year subscription for six issues is £335 direct, or $535 through Amazon.
When I visited Killybegs in Donegal, Ireland last year, I got to tour a carpet factory, officially known as Killybegs International Carpet Making & Fishing Centre. The factory once designed, dyed, and thread wool by hand-knotters, to produce world-class Donegal Carpets that can still be seen in such places as Dublin Castle, The Oval Room at the White House, the Vatican, and Buckingham Palace. The carpets they produced were amazing. Definitely a case of raising a craft to an art form.
Though commercial textiles is obviously a profitable business, when I think of textiles, particularly knitting, crocheting, and weaving, I think of handmade items. Textiles have long been an acceptable way for women to do exhibit artistic or creative talent. They could create both beautiful and useful items for the home. For modern women, knitting or crocheting can be a way to wind down after a stressful day. As an introvert, I use crocheting in certain social situations to excuse me from small talk. It is more acceptable than sitting there with a bored look on my face, and I can still be part of the conversation when an interesting topic is raised. Besides, I love giving handmade items to friends and family.
The graphic below is a picture of the blanket I am currently crocheting for a coming new grandnephew. Mine is done in variegated purple with a lovely soft yarn called Cascade Yarns Pacific, a superwash wool/acrylic blend.
Some quotes about crocheting, knitting, and weaving.
…the number one reason knitters knit is because they are so smart that they need knitting to make boring things interesting. Knitters are so compellingly clever that they simply can’t tolerate boredom.–Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Knitting is clothing made in spare moments, or round the fire, whenever women gathered together… It’s something to celebrate-clothes made in love and service, something women have always done.–Anne Bartlett (Knitting)
Play around with materials, colors, stitches. Everything is allowed! Crochet is a magnificent adventure that opens the doors to your wildest imagination and creativity.–Marie-Noelle Bayard
Crocheting acts as a mental and physical therapy and there are many beautiful things that are created in the process.–unknown (Today’s Crochet World)
Crochet gives me an inner peace that I treasure each and every day.–Judith Ferrett
Crochet is an accessible art that comes with a license to be prolific.–Francine Toukou
Quite simply, crochet feeds the human need for balance in our lives. Making something with our hands reflects something basic about ourselves.–Vickie Howell
In Old Europe and Ancient Crete, women were respected for their roles in the discovery of agriculture and for inventing the arts of weaving and pottery making.–Carol P. Christ
Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while, then take up the sock again.–Dorothy Day
I have learned that each and every piece of cloth embodies the spirit, skill, and personal history of an individual weaver… It ties together with an endless thread the emotional life of my people.–Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez
Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com.