When I’m traveling I always make a point of visiting local markets and bazaars to see where the locals shop and what they buy. The fresh produce and exotic spices are always a delight, but for truly vibrant photos, I love wandering through the fabric stalls, looking for bursts of colour like these from Guatemala.
Cloth, colour and pattern combine to tell the story of a place. I find it fascinating, and not just because we are living in a material world and I am a material girl. Fabric and culture are often interwoven ( sheepish grin ) like the ancient craft of carpet weaving that Turkish nomads brought with them when they migrated from Central Asia towards the West; a craft kept alive today by skilled weavers like this lady in Konya.
The production of silk began centuries ago in China, when, as legend has it, a silkworm’s cocoon dropped into Empress Leizu’s afternoon tea and the heat unwrapped the silk. Hot water is still the best way to unwrap those delicate strands of silk. It was mesmerizing to watch those pearly white cocoons bob around in the water as they slowly unpacked their silvery gossamer.
And for something a little closer to home, there’s the trusty old sheep who kindly give up their woolly coats so we can wear embarrassing holiday sweaters. I got to watch these ladies spin wool fresh off the sheep at the Sheep Olympics last year…
… and learned how to use plants and berries to hand dye wool like a Viking at the Brian Boru Festival in Killaloe.
So are you ready to weave your own interpretation of this week’s theme? If you would like to join in (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:
- Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Fabric
- Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
- Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
- Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.
We live in a web of ideas, a fabric of our own making. – Joseph Chilton Pearce
We encounter and enter our richest, most humanly defining experiences by way of a tear in the fabric of things, because we are running late, or because we recognize, across a crowded room, a face whose lack of perfection allows a unique light to shine through and to stir us with uncommon wonder. – Eugene Kennedy
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Oh what twines we weave!!
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Really gorgeous, that last one is my favourite, such lovely faces. xxx
There are so many colors and pattern and the women wear it so gracefully!
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I have a friend who makes lots of things. She is truly happy when she is doing so. I must take some photographs of her and her work. Here is some pics Jo took in Thailand
Lovely shots from around the world Mick (and Jo) – and yes, I would love to see photos of your friend’s work too. xxx
I meant to compliment your photographs as well which are so colourful
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I love this. Those colors are so vibrant.
Thanks Mary, one of the reasons I go looking for local fabrics is the burst of colour – great for photographs. 🙂
Running my hands over the texture still entrances me as much as it did when I was a little girl. Love of fabric has led me to experiment with many crafts. ( and discover many shops!!!) Thanks for this wonderful post.
So glad you enjoyed it, Carol, a fellow fabric fan. 🙂
It was a facinating story about your travel. Visiting local markets and learn things. 👍
Have you been to Indonesia? You should visit Indonesia and seek for Batik’s production. And many other traditional fabric from Indonesia such as songket.
Hi Febriyan, I haven’t been to Indonesia… yet … hopefully soon. I’ve seen some of the silks and batiks from the area though, wow, I cannot wait to explore local markets over there. xxx
Wonderful, colourful and irresistable – agree.
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This must be my favourite theme ever Ailsa.
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Am totally on the same page with you on this theme! https://nihongojapango.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/fabric-and-textiles/
I have used your post as inspiration for my daily photo blog post too. It is scheduled for the 17th of December. Please keep an eye out for it! Thanks for another great theme.
Love this! My blog post today is about silk, a range of scarves and tops created with indigenous Australian designs…and for a change I’ve even put myself in the picture! http://aglasshalf-full.com/2015/12/13/ideas-for-your-travelling-wardrobe/
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My contribution is nothing like as colourful, but different! https://travelrat.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/travel-theme-fabric/
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The colors and textures are amazing in depth and vibrance, Ailsa. Lovely theme!
Here’s my contribution: https://drieskewrites.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/travel-theme-fabric/
Love this post! Pretty much my whole blog is devoted to travel, yarn and textiles – http://www.agujasblog.com. I just returned from Gotland island (part of Sweden) and saw local Gotland Sheep and lovely yarn.
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Love this, Ailsa – here’s my entry. Mostly Chinese http://wp.me/p1hCI2-58V
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Denim is the fabric of choice for this post: http://ohtheplaceswesee.com/2015/12/13/travel-theme-fabric/ (Loved the topic!)
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Fabric from Manchester, UK
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I chose to feature Norway and Austria in my fabric travels. I love the traditions that live on through fabric designs. It is possible to research history, geography, art and textile design through fabrics.
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DECEMBER 11, 2015 Wonderful SCARVES TRAVEL THEME FABRIC VERY COLORFUL WHERE IS MY BACKPACK THANK YOU
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nice frist Fotos with color sheme latin & andina, and the other countrys also.
Greetings from Peru
Although we have seen this in China, my entry is from an exhibition of Chinese silk we saw here – http://wp.me/p3CFsE-2lB
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As a blend of your theme and the time of year, I have featured a fabric christmas tree: http://travelwithintent.com/2015/12/15/a-vegetation-free-tree/
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Such a fun and color topic for me. Your photos are perfect as always.
Here is my entry for this week.
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How women dress is so particular in Central Asia…. https://travelleronamission.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/travel-theme-unexpected-fabric-patterns-for-womens-dresses-in-uzbekistan/
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Great photos, I love it that you showed us how they make these fabrics. The silkworm cocoons, women weaving, etc. I’ve always loved beautiful crafts too, never was able to get many good photos, but here’re a couple from my last big trip overseas…
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