Sun, Moon and Stars in Supporting Role
Photograph by Christopher Sams
It's been a fruitful month for new press on the resurgence of the textile industry in North Carolina and I just want to note those links here all in one post for those who may be interested. Asheville's Mountain Express published a great article last week on the burgeoning local fiber economy in Western North Carolina which touches on Echoview Fiber Mill, the new spinning mill in Weaverville, on Oriole, the specialty jacquard mill in Hendersonville, and on Project Handmade, the Asheville fashion show organized by Local Cloth for which in 2012 I designed fabric and partnered with Lisa Mandle, friend and seamstress extraordinaire, to design garments.
For a larger picture of the situation statewide, this documentary paints a pretty rosy picture of labor moving back from Asia to the US, as NC mills are trying to pick up the pieces and retool. If Bethanne Knudson of Oriole is right in noting in the above article that we are just one generation away from losing highly skilled industrial know-how for good, then the good news in this video comes none too soon. I am still wary of big industry and their underlying profit motive trumping the quality of the local and the handmade, but as textile producers, we are all in this together and I do believe that the key to survival is cooperation and pooling resources.
Finally, here is the link to the fashion shoot which includes the above photo of one of my coverlets. Christopher Sams, the photographer, is a native of Hot Springs but studied at Parsons, ergo the fresh mixing of urban contemporary with throwback rural. I had no idea what the outcome of this project would look like; I just lent out my coverlet for the weekend and voila! Credit goes to Angela Kim who works at Handmade in America, for organizing this on her own time. The clothes are fantastic! An honor to participate.