Wednesday, 13 October 2021


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


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


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


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.

Sunday, 21 June 2020


Friend of the Blog par excellence, Nag on the Lake, refers us to nice little application that allows one to remix the characters and style of the Bayeux Tapestry (see also) for retelling a modern saga with this clever historic construction kit. See more on the original embroidery and the tale it conveys at the source link above and share with us your stitched together yarns.

Thursday, 23 May 2019


For a couple of weeks, I had noticed the gap in the circle of stars on the hoodie (Pulli) donned by a candidate standing for a MEP slot and figured that it was a subtle/not-so-subtle reference to Brexit, but was not aware of the provenance or how the design by Berlin-based David Mallon was trending and very much in fashion among pro-EU, anti-extremist politicians. One of the twelve golden mullets was removed and affixed to the back of the sweater, this simple broken circle symbolising something beyond the UK’s departure and conveying volumes tacitly and inviting dialogue.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019


Born 5 March 1897, Swiss textile artist Gunta Slölzl (†1983) had a formative and fundamental role in leading the Bauhaus school’s weaving workshop.  Find more posts about the movement and its principals here, here, here and here.
Having joined the movement just after its inception, she became a full master (the first female to achieve this level though the atmosphere was rather lacking in collegiality with most of the directors dismissing fabrics as craft and women’s work) in 1928 and revitalised the weaving and dyeing studios, mentoring many students and experimented with synthetic materials. A gallery of Stölzl’s works can be found here along with other Bauhaus disciplines cab be found at the link here.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

muster and moquette

CityLab made a quite wonderful and inspired appeal with their international, publically-jured round-up of mass-transit upholstery (previously here and here) sourced from trains, busses and metro-lines in service all over the world.

A few that I’m acquainted with can be reviewed here and I can completely relate to the feeling of pride and affection that passengers develop for these dreadfully excellent and challenging creations in textile that need not only to be practicable and identifiable (like this specimen of priority-seating for ScotRail) but have to also remain fresh, colourfast and rebuff graffiti for quite some time. Do share the distinctive seat-covers from your local public transport—and support them with your ridership and patronage. Much more to explore at the link above.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019


suburbia: Eliza Gosse paints Australian Mid-Century modern homes

emancipation of the dissonance: economist and performer Merle Hazard delivers an atonal tune

threadstories: crocheted masks and headdresses examine our online avatars and personรฆ

autoglyphs: Michael Light takes an aerial survey of the arid American west

forget about it: a versatile Italian word to know

needs more salt: a seasonings purveyor and a tech company collaborate to optimise spicing up your recipes

byggeskikk: a photographer becomes quite taken with a picturesque cabin 

Friday, 1 February 2019

lozenge moquette

Thanks to City Lab, we are invited to revisit the plush and pile of mass-transit upholstery through the industrial textile designs of Enid Marx and other samples archived by the London Transportation Museum. By turns both extravagant and practical, both overlooked and omnipresent, the exhibit offers a retrospective look at the power of the intentionality in design, underscored perfectly by something that often retreats into the background yet (if not itself the subject of passing derision) so much part of a shared ridership experience.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019


Via the always excellent Nag on the Lake with a bit of an update from Colossal, we learn about a loyal but frustrated rail commuter who, much like Andean quipu or the zealous knitter who got carried away with the Doctor’s scarf, documented delays experienced in coloured wool bands during her daily trip (two a day—round-trip, hin- und zรผruck) between Moosburg an der Isar and Mรผnchen, which should take approximately thirty minutes on regional trains—once infrastructure repairs and diverting to buses meant that long interruptions became the norm.
Her one hundred-twenty centimetre long handiwork (reminiscent of a DNA test result in the rawest form) garnered a lot of attention after her daughter, a prominent journalist and news editor, posted it on social media. The knitter decided the auction off the “train-delay-scarf” for the charity Bahnhofs Mission, an outreach and assistance programme for the homeless, transient and precarious based in train stations, raising several thousand euro. Claudia Weber, the creator, is working on a new shawl for 2019.