Selvedge Issue 92 Comfort

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MMS Selvedge Issue 92 Comfort

Issue 92 Comfort

"The third Thursday in January is considered to be the most depressing day of the year. The excitement and light associated with Christmas, New Year, Diwali, and Hanukkah has dimmed and spring seems a long way off. Spirits can be low and the body tense with cold.

This issue we think about textiles created to comfort the soul, as well as the body. Historically, tapestries were hung on castle walls to counteract the cold and to bring colour and light to dark and drafty interiors.

This tradition has been sustained across the millennia with peaks and troughs of popularity.

One such peak occurred in mid 20th century Europe, from the municipal tapestries commissioned by the Government in the newly communist Poland to those designed by the Benedictine monk Dom Robert and woven in Aubusson in the South of France. This flowering of tapestry laid the foundations for a quiet revolution, which took place at The International Centre of Ancient and Modern Tapestry in Lausanne, Switzerland. Here, artists from across the globe met and exchanged ideas and brought new expression to this ancient art form. Tapestry moved off the wall and into the gallery, sewing the seeds of the installation art movement.

With important exhibitions celebrating the work of pioneers Magdalena Abakanowicz in London and The Fabric of Modernity: Matisse, Picasso, Miró…and French Tapestries at the Kunsthalle in Munich in the coming months, we certainly have much to look forward to in the spring.

After enjoying Tracy Chevalier’s novel A Single Thread (see the Selvedge Social on 26th February) and learning of the pioneering work of Louisa Pesel (who is also the subject of an exhibition in February), I have been drawn to textiles inspired by religious motives - an area I have previously overlooked. To my delight, I have found a treasure trove, from rich tapestries to the glorious chasubles designed by Matisse for the Dominican Chapel of the Rosary at Vence, and the sumptuous work of the Broderers of St Paul’s Cathedral.

We will look at colour, repair and visit the Nordic region in future issues, but, for now, light an open fire, pull up a chair and enjoy a good read."

Polly Leonard, Founder, Selvedge Magazine

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Our Story

Selvedge is a magazine that acknowledges the significance of textiles as a part of everyone’s story.  We are surrounded by cloth from the cradle to the grave and by exploring our universal emotional connection to fibre we share the stories and values that mean the most to us. From why we love the sound of a needle pulling thread through taut linen, to why we are fascinated by the clothes we wear and the fibres we unknowingly rely on. There are many sides to every story and Selvedge is dedicated to finding and nurturing textiles from every angle. We believe that textiles unite all humanity and in surveying the development of society it is clear that from a spider’s web to the world-wide web, textiles appear as the protagonist.

It is with this thought that we hope to widen our net as well as our own horizons with everything we do. Join us and make our stories part of your story.


The Magazine

At the heart of the Selvedge story is a cerebral and sensual addiction to cloth and with that an appreciation of the beautifully made and carefully considered.  Having been drawn to textiles since childhood, Polly Leonard studied embroidery and weaving and taught textiles for ten years.  Frustrated at the lack of infrastructure to support talented artisans and the wider community of enthusiasts, Polly took a leap of faith in April 2004 and created the magazine she wanted to read – Selvedge. Today Selvedge is still exploring and understanding the history, future, politics and aesthetics of textiles with its own distinct voice.

Since its launch Selvedge has become much more than a magazine. As well as a valuable source of inspiration  for designers and devotees alike, the Selvedge brand has flourished not only into a spring board for makers and artisans but a strong community of textile lovers, with workshops and fairs.

As a publication we broaden our own horizons and fall more in love with textiles with every issue. Because we believe that the most interesting and evocative textile stories deserve to be shown in the best possible light, we work to ensure that every page is as carefully considered and beautiful as the textile stories within it.