Collectable Textiles are textiles that are

Introduction to Textiles

Textiles, be they embroideries, weavings and lace work, are a way of life and the non-verbal language of a people.  Textiles speak to us at multiple levels. The raw materials speak of the geo-climatic conditions.  The techniques speak of the level of civilisation as well as links with others. The motifs tell us of its legends, myths, beliefs, way of life and trade links.

As a mode of self-presentation, textiles assert personal, ethnic, religious, and economic identities. Textiles are also eloquent historical texts, encoding change, appropriation, oppression, and endurance, as well as personal and cultural aesthetic visions. In many regions, textile production is central to being female. Textiles created by women are all this and more. They are an expression of the creativity of women, who enrich their environment, their own lives and of the family by creating items for everyday use in the home.  It is the arena where a woman uses her technical expertise to express broader cultural norms, and for sustaining the cultural traditions of the community.


The diversity and richness of textile traditions make any attempt to create a comprehensive study virtually impossible.  There are many ways to approach the subject: geography, technique, material, and function.


Embroidery created by the women however is all this and yet more.  it is an expression of the creativity of women, who enrich their environment, their own lives and of the family by creating objects of everyday use in the home.


embroidery generally is viewed by people as a form of decoration or embellishment but its origins may lie in the decorative stitching together of leather or woven cloth and well as the strengthening of a cloth which always has been a very precious commodity in a household

different styles of embroidery can be broken down into the nomadic and pastoral embroidery, peasant embroidery, ritual embroidery, urban and royal embroidery and the trade embroideries.

the need for decoration of one’s body, and the clothing can be found amongst the earliest of nomadic people.  however, it is the pastoral people, who moved with their animals and had fixed migratory points, who developed embroidery into a highly evolved art for decorating their person and habitat.

For me textiles are a way of life and represent cultural aspects of a people.


The approach in this website is


istorians of ethnographic art and anthropologists are

currently redefining our relationships with other cultures and reexamining the often biased premises on which their

disciplines have been built.1 In this ongoing dialogue about the nature of culture, the study of cloth has moved

closer to center stage than ever before. Whereas previous generations of textile scholars focused on technology and

taxonomy, a new generation sees textile arts as eloquent expressions of women’s concerns with cultural tradition

and transmutation, as well as a host of other topics.2 At last, cloth is recognized as fundamental to studies of

gender, social identity, status, exchange, and modernization (Schneider 1987; Schneider and Weiner

1986;Weiner and Schneider 1989; Schevill, Berlo, and Dwyer1991).


From the time of the Ottoman Empire to the present day, women in Turkey have learned and perfected their needlework skills by creating textiles for their trousseaux (çeyizler). In all of their variations, trousseau textiles play important and varying roles in Turkish women’s lives—roles that begin in childhood, extend into marriage, and continue throughout their adulthood and the raising of the next generation. While internationally, trousseau traditions have faded, the creation of a trousseau in Turkey remains a personally and culturally meaningful practice. Unlike purely symbolic or ritualistic objects, trousseau textiles inhabit both the symbolic and functional realms; they are both personally sentimental and domestically useful. In Turkey, the creation of trousseau textiles is a tradition imbued with vitality and creativity and, as such, is intimately linked with and reflective of the historical milieu in which it is created.

Lao textiles are as diverse as the people there that make them. Laos is a landlocked country with a population of 6.3 million people, the country consists of 49 officially recognised ethnic groups.  Traditionally textiles are made by women, the preparation of dyes and the actual dyeing is done by women and it is women that more often than not still proudly wear the cloths that they make. Materials used in textile creation are home grown; from hmong hemp in the cool mountain air, to silk made from ravenous worms munching mulberry to the organic fields of cotton that produce yarns for soft cloths. Lao textiles are such an important part of lao cultural diversity, but times are changing and its now that we need to secure the place for Lao textiles on the world platform