Monday, 17 January 2022

from inca to excel

Via ร†on, we quite enjoyed this introduction to the system of knotted fibres called khipu (see also) as an accounting and record-keeping tool of the Wari peoples and spread across the Andean region some fourteen-hundred years ago. Decoded by specially-trained khipukamayuqs, these mobile ledgers were periodically recalled to court authorities to lodge tax-compliance, census numbers, commerce, genealogy and inheritance—and with only a small proportion of museum-holdings deciphered, some holdout the possibility that these data-points were a means to encode the fulness of language.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

archisuits

Via the always excellent Everlasting Blรถrt, we are directed towards Sarah Ross’ fashions to adapt to hostile architecture and the trend in Los Angeles (and other places—see previously) to install building elements to block people from sitting or lying down, not to discourage loitering or lingering but rather present as incommodious to the unhoused.

Friday, 7 January 2022

saint distaff’s day

Observed in medieval Europe on the day after the Feast of the Epiphany and also known as Roc or Rock Day (used with a spindle to make fabric) is an unofficial solemnity (see also) to mark going back to the grind with spinners and weavers resuming their work after the holiday break. Regarded traditionally as women’s work, there would be a gathering and some merry-making, recently seeing a revival, and men held their own parallel party, letting the short week run its course, called Plough Monday.

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

dyer’s polypore

Having seen the process of extracting dyes from our fungal friends before, via Things Magazine, we not only quite enjoyed perusing through this swath collection of colours derived from mushrooms in its own right but also appreciated the site as an important point of departure for cultivating a deeper appreciation for the mycorrhizal network that connects us all.

Friday, 10 December 2021

very peri

Possibly at the risk of sounding quite misaligned with the current Zeitgeist wherein COTY, WoTY could do better to provide a reprieve from the destruction of the planet and erosion of democracy Pantone nominates a lilac, periwinkle shade as the Colour for 2022, informed by the, according to the press-release, by the metaverse and as well as the “impact of coronavirus lockdowns.” I don’t know—what do you think? Not everything has to be on fire and dread serious but this strikes me as particularly disconnected and fraught with associations of social distance and hierarchies.

Friday, 12 November 2021

warp and weave

With a significant portion of global power devoted to air-conditioning, the search for ways to shift the burden of keeping cool, passively, has garnered quite a sense of urgency. Researchers in Nanjing and Stanford, harnessing and enhancing the natural properties of silk and sericulture, learn from the New Shelton wet / dry, which deflects most of the radiant energy falling on it rather than absorbing it like other fabrics embedded fibres with nanoparticles to reflect the portion of the spectrum not already covered, thereby creating a sort of high SPF, super-conducting cloth that blocks fully ninety-five percent of heat, remaining cooler than ambient air temperatures by three-and-a-half degrees Celsius and a whopping twelve degrees difference for the skin’s surface, reducing the risk for heat-exhaustion and dehydration.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

designgroep

Named after the tarot card, the psychedelic design collective based in Amsterdam, The Fool, and influenced by the hippie community of Ibiza (see previously), whose costuming for stage and album cover art include iconic outfits for Procol Harum, Cream and the Beatles, as seen in televised broadcasts of “All You Need is Love,” the Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt. Pepper’s inside graphics plus the largest mural in the world for a performance of Hair at the Aquarius Theatre. Much more at Messy Messy Chic at the link above.

Friday, 1 October 2021

born to the purple

Via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump, we very much enjoyed learning about young aspiring chemist William Henry Perkin’s accidental discovery of one of the first synthetic dyes whilst trying to extract quinine, the sole treatment for malaria known to Victorian London, from coal tar—a considered a waste by-product of burning coke and coal but in reality quite useful. Purple was still very much en vogue—signalling that wearers were otherwise porphyrogenita though to harvest the mollusks that were its natural source, the Murex snail, was exceedingly hard to come (as the species was nearly driven to extinction by dint of the royal colour) by and substitutes were quick to fade and wash-out. The substance that Perkin’s experiments yielded stained fabric and appeared to be colourfast, and capitalising on tradition, originally deemed it Tyrian purple, later naming the product, the first to be marketed commercially and leading to an revolution in chemical research, to mauveine after the French term for the mallow (Malva sylvestris) wildflower.

Friday, 6 August 2021

regimental colours


Via the lens of heraldic conventions developed over centuries of colonisation and exploitation, we are afforded a glimpse into the complex history and socio-economic relations of the traditional companies of warriors of the Akan culture—called Asafo—of Ghana and the Ivory Coast (see previously) that pledge to defend the land through resistance to assimilation and care for their community, like ward custodians. Reminiscent of latter day Afghan war rugs (an example pictured here), learn more about the flags’ history and legacy at the link up top.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

you tacky thing, you put them on

Though perhaps too early to be think about one’s Halloween attire or even how Halloween will be observed in the coming three months (or perhaps not), one needs the lead time to get one’s order in for these quite stunning and custom-tailored, highly-specific one-off David Bowie cosplay outfits, via Dangerous Minds, which are of course acceptable for weddings and other special occasions and everyday wear as well. Wanda Cobar’s shop selling celebrity inspired costumes and dancewear also includes various iconic glam get-ups of Elton John and Freddie Mercury.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

a bird, a young lark—lifting the sky as it took flight

Via It’s Nice That, we discover a retrospective exhibit at the Tate aims to correct a curatorial and conversational miscarriage in art history that left the contributions and influence of Swiss artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp (previously) to the Dada and Modernism movements by showing her due recognition. Much more on the artist’s media, works and career at the links above.

Saturday, 19 June 2021

fabric swatch

Via Web Curios, we quite taken with this simple, unassuming tool that generates textile-like patterns either at random or to a wide range of adjustable specifications that can then be saved as image files or exported as tiles for use as web-backgrounds if so desired.

Saturday, 8 May 2021

8x8

take-away: flatpack pasta designed to morph and fold into containers when cooked  

bogland: photographing the marshes and alluvial plains of Belarus 

baby’s breath: biodegradable face masks blossom into wildflowers  

private issue new age: a soothing 1984 ambient recording that’s a psychoacoustic catalyst designed for release of spiritual and emotional energies 

children’s television workshop: the creators behind Sesame Street’s Teeny Little Super Guy  

forced perspective: giant Bidens and tiny Carters were keeping us awake—an explanation of the confluence of factors via Miss Cellania’s Links 

tableau muet: visualising history and charting epochs with Antoni Jaลผwiล„ski’s “Polish System” 

baibaojia: make your own thread book for safekeeping of sewing items, notions and other small treasures

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

reeperbahn


We quite enjoyed this peek into the industries of rope-making and yarn-spinning that gave Cable Street of the East End and Whitechapel through the lens of the late eighteenth century company of the Frost Brothers when it was documented in illustrations and photographs in 1905. Like the above-titled way in Hamburg, the area began as a straight grounds where hemp fibres were twisted into ropes for the ships that would anchor on the Thames between London Bridge and the kilns at Limehouse.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

tragically hip

Though without the spectacle and international audiences and whether it can even be safely executed even with the most stringent health and hygiene precautions, some fashionistas are citing the planned apparel that the Canadian nation team will don for the Closing Ceremony in Tokyo as an overpowering reason to cancel the Olympics. I endorse these bespoke, graffiti clad jean jackets and think it’s going to be a statement that we’ll later pretend to have always been behind—like a twist on the so called Canadian Tuxedo—if not not at least remember. One can peruse the rest of the uniform and kit-up from Hudson’s Bay here.

monster maroon

In light of a recent revue of Starfleet and other in-universe uniforms and fashions (previouslysee also), we have the opportunity to eulogise a prolific producer of stage and screen and costume and set designer in the recently departed Robert Fletcher (*1922 - †2021) who created ensembles for major ballet troupes and opera companies in addition to television and film—including four of the original cast Star Trek movies that gave command and senior staff those signature dress uniforms, referred to by the title (c. 2280). Having won several Tony and Saturn awards, Fletcher’s design archives were donated to Harvard University and are conserved there.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

i like the cut of your jib, sailor

Via the always outstanding Miss Cellania, we are directed to a revue of four centuries—allowance for temporal anomalies—of Starfleet uniforms and Star Trek fashions that have been integral to the franchise and all its iterations since inception, eliciting strong opinions and favourites among the seasons’ wardrobe and livery. The pictured crew member wearing a skant is pretty forward looking for the 2350 of 1987.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

100% birgitta

Pictured here among the influential and aspirational on the beach in Ibiza in crocheted attire, we quite enjoyed learning about the crafter and dyer become wardrobe artist and celebrity in her own right Stockholm native Birgitta Bjerke who turned the patchwork of old-timey bedspreads into fashion that the rock royalty of the mid- to late 60s with icons like Jimi Hendrix, Roger Daltrey, Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger sporting her outfits. Much more at Collectors’ Weekly at the link above.

Friday, 11 December 2020

statistrikk

Via Seitvertreib, we are introduced to these wonderful vignettes from associate biostatistics professor at the University of Oslo Kathrine Frey Frรธslie who illustrates scientific concepts, in this case the R-number associated with viral contagion and herd immunity, through knitting and crochet (see also) projects. More to explore on science communication and data visualisations (including for the crafty the patterns to make your own COVID-related cosies) at the links above.

Friday, 4 December 2020

matching corsage

Via the always amazing Everlasting Blรถrt, we are presented with the king and queen of the prom in this 2020 edition of the duct tape industry’s annual scholarship competition for graduating high schoolers encouraged to design fabulous tuxedos, ball gowns and other formal ware accessories. The winner of the grand prize for the tux category is an aspiring art student, paying homage to many of the masters, and hopes to use this grant and other to help offset tuition costs, crafting his outfit out of twenty rolls of tape over the course of eighty hours. Check out more winning designs at the link above.