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Selvedge Issue 99: Home

April / March 2021

"Virginia Woolf told us all that to create we need a room of our own. Recently, our homes have taken on greater significance in our lives far beyond simply providing shelter and a space for eating and sleeping. They have kept us safe, provided a place for work of all sorts, and have been a place for creative expression. In this issue, we reflect on the home as a place where we can simply do as we please and develop our creativity. There is no better expression of artistic originality than the beautifully decorated interior of Charleston farmhouse in Sussex, where Woolf’s sister Vanessa Bell and the painter Duncan Grant made their home more than a hundred years ago. The house welcomed a circle of artists, writers and thinkers of the day and its interior has inspired ever since. The house also formed the backdrop for our decadent party shoot Bohemian Rhapsody by Yuval Hen.

With a nod to the Bloomsbury group, who covered every surface Charleston’s interiors with pattern and colour, we will examine every surface of the home. We look at hand-painted Chinese wallpaper, which was considered the height of fashion in 18th century England, and thanks to its beauty still enchants. We also travel the world to enjoy the magic of carpets, which can be used so effectively as the foundation of a room, and explore the history of splendid silk dressing gowns.

So, as we spend more time in our homes, the traditional workplace for textiles, we also consider how the cottage industries that flourished before the industrial revolution are resonating with today's designer-makers. During a difficult winter surrounding ourselves with textiles, whether that is a daily ritual of knitting, quilting, darning, or simply folding the laundry, has calmed our spirits. And as we reach the finale of our Winter of Making, we can look back with contentment at new skills learned, some beloved cashmere socks repaired, and finally anticipate the spring."

Polly Leonard, Founder & Editor of Selvedge Magazine

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