Photo: Stitch in Time – Sustainable Textiles

This series of monthly workshops for Wigan and Leigh Archives brought together a variety of existing workshops using recycled textiles plus some new ones. Each month had a different theme which I used as inspiration for the activity and the archives team provided some items for discussion. Each workshop was a stand alone session to allow for changing participants; however we did develop a core group of regulars. All fabric was recycled or scraps, mainly old clothing and household fabrics. Leigh has fabulous charity shops which are a great source for materials and reference books.

October – Fabric Apples & Pumpkins for Harvest Festivals and Halloween.

November – Inspired by local trade and traditions of spinning & weaving, the session showed how to make t shirt yarn and use it to create a colourful circular weaving.

December – Created pocket hugs out of old socks, decorated with applique and embroidery, to keep us warm at Christmas.

January – Looked at New Year Resolutions and Make Do and Mend by learning about visible and invisible mending through introduction to darning and sashiko.

February – Roses was the theme covering both Valentine’s Day and of course Lancashire. The group learnt how to make 3 different types of flowers brooch made from old clothes.

March – Maps from the archives provided inspiration for applique shirt cushion covers.

I’m looking forward to working with some members of the group on a longer workshop making a piece of textile art over 3 sessions at Lancashire Mining Museum using the site as inspiration but also as a source of materials for rust dyeing and eco printing the recycled fabrics.

Trying to cover both darning and sashiko in one session was a rush so split the activities and created a 2 hour basic sashiko workshop at the Prism exhibition at Mile End Art Pavilion.