Could it be (textile) love?

I discovered seam collective’s 2021 #SeptTextileLove Instagram challenge, whilst on a trip to the Outer Hebrides. Intrigued, I started my month-long #SeptTextileLove journey three days into the challenge, during the five-hour ferry crossing. Some of the time, on the sea crossing I was distracted by my alfresco crocheting on the open sea, but the rest of time I was free to pore over the ten thousand or so images stored on my phone, trying to find something suitable to introduce myself with and catch up with the first few days of the challenge.

I had thought that being so far away from my studio full of textile samples and studies it would be a bit of a trial, but I could access images on my phone dating back 30 years or so. It was quite a revelation just how many images I could find online documenting my artistic production over the years. The challenge allowed a retrospective, giving me the chance to trace back over my involvement with textiles and was a positive experience; quite a confidence boost realising that: ‘Oh I am a textile person’.

It enabled me to recognise my great curiosity and passion for all forms of textile processes and techniques in the domestic and professional sphere over my entire life. So many ways of being involved with textiles. #SeptTextileLove allowed me to connect with loads of other passionate enthusiasts; revealing yet more exciting ideas to  build upon: overwhelming really.

I have enjoyed reading back over the comments that accompany my posts. Being part of an accepting community of folk just like me, freed me up to be happy about the way I sound – it helped spur me on to put in my application to seam collective.

One of my favourite posts and captions is from day 20 (above left) and sums up my journey to becoming a textile artist. The prompt was ‘Newfound skill/technique’. On that particular day in September, I was using a cable needle for the first time.

From the basic processes learnt in childhood I could probably turn my hand to most things textile related if there was actually enough time in a single lifespan – or I can just marvel at what everyone else is doing on Instagram. That’s ‘textilelove’ for you.

After my holidays I completed the challenge back home and decided to set about applying to join seam collective and by November last year I was delighted to find my application had been accepted. 

As a new member I am excited to be involved with #SeptTextileLove from the other side – helping to devise the prompts and getting to share the highlights from the posts shared by all those fellow textile lovers – I look forward to seeing the posts.

If you would like to take part in #SeptTextileLove 2022:

  • Read about how #SeptTextileLove works in our blog post Not long till #SeptTextileLove 2021!
  • Follow the seam blog to ensure you receive the prompts on 31 August, ready to start in September.
  • If you’d like to start thinking about the prompts ahead of the challenge and prepare a few responses, subscribe to the seam newsletter and you’ll receive the full list of prompts one week before they’re publicly released. We also include a prompt planner for you to download too. The seam newsletter is issued four times a year and you can unsubscribe at any time.
  • Remember when you write your captions don’t forget to use the exact hashtag ‘#SeptTextileLove‘ at least once in your post. There are quite a few similar hashtags available, but it’s a bit like a password; if you don’t use exactly those words other participants may miss you post and you won’t get as many likes, comments and follows!

Jane Colquhoun