Travel theme: Fabric

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.

Guatemala Guatemalan fabric

guatemala guatemalan quilt craft fabric atitlan santiago travel

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.

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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.

silk cocoon, silk, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney

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…

sheep olympics, golden shears, gorey, wexford, ireland, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney, spinning wool

… and learned how to use plants and berries to hand dye wool like a Viking at the Brian Boru Festival in Killaloe.

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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.

xxx Ailsa

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


About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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