A massive thank you to all who took part in this year’s #SeptTextileLove Instagram challenge.

We welcomed old and new friends who continue to make this challenge so interesting and it gave us all the opportunity to share our creativity. Unsurprisingly, the posts often reflected the political, economical and social environment we now find ourselves in.  

Life has changed, and so have our making practices, to accommodate a new way of thinking. It makes me realise that we can never take anything for granted. The pandemic has touched everyone around the world and this is apparent in many of the posts we have seen in the #SeptTextileLove prompts (and corresponding posts) this year.

As always you have risen to the challenge and shown many thoughtful, and sometimes humorous, responses as well as a shared passion for all things textiles. Traditional hand stitching methods of repairing were very much evident, boro, sashiko, kantha, along with natural dyeing and repurposing, combining natural and manmade materials appeared in abundance.

One of the great things about taking part in this challenge is seeing other people using similar materials to you but in different ways. I personally have made contact with other artists using teabags in their work which are very different to my approach and it’s fun to be witness to this work; we all put our own unique stamp on things.

As textile people, I’m sure we have all appreciated our ability to be resourceful and creative this year, adapting and growing within our practice and finding new inspiration.  There have no doubt been many moments of sadness, anxiety, frustration and loneliness, but hopefully there have also been positives for you all.

Here are three of my personal favourites:

@wendykirwoodartist Day 25: Detail
@peopsh Day 19: Lockdown (Gardening Gloves)
@clairebtex Day 29: Guilty Pleasure

This has been a tough year and other, usually pressing, issues have taken a back seat. Arts and crafts remain an important part of our lives and the world is a richer place for it.

Stay safe and well

Joy Merron

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