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Selvedge Issue 95: Heritage

July / August 2020

A celebration of cloth, culture and creativity

"I, like many, was touched by Her Majesty The Queen's message to the nation, broadcast at the height of the pandemic. Her words, ‘This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour ...We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return ...we will meet again’ have inspired me to curate this special issue. For now, our lives have slowed and narrowed encouraging us all to re-prioritise the important things, our friends and family and the simple pleasures of hearth and home. To engage with textile crafts and appreciate the positive impact that making has on our mental health.

But once the pandemic has passed, we must not let fear breed further isolation and loneliness. That will be the time to rebuild our economy and to reach out to our friends across the world. Here at Selvedge, we feel that it has become more important than ever to support the work of makers who are in danger of being amongst the hardest hit. The products of their labour so enrich all our lives, and particularly now, their creative expression is a tonic for us all. With these thoughts in mind, the focus of this issue is the work of the makers of handmade textiles: individuals whose livelihoods are threatened, and communities both near and far struggling for survival because of their isolation and the pandemic’s economic impact. It is with sadness that we are not be able to be with you in person, the 2020 edition of the Selvedge World Fair will be brought to you online, but at the same time we also look forward to 2-4 September 2021 when we will meet again.

In the meantime we bring you uplifting stories of women building better lives for their families through textiles endeavours in Guatemala and India. These artisan- led projects work best when they maintain the essence of the makers visual identity yet produce a product that connects to contemporary society. One of the best examples are the uber-cool chairs by Djilene Creations from Senegal. So, I recommend you grab a lawn chair, and enjoy this issue in the summer sunshine."

Polly Leonard, Founder & Editor of Selvedge Magazine

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