Mar 18, 2021 Rare Books Virtual Lecture — Fiber /// Liber
“O stitching is witching
And hemming as well,
But what is distressing,
Is turning a fell.
I’m sick of such seaming,
And ready to cry,
But I hear the word ringing,
Try little one, try…”
― Louise J. Kirkwood, “Try, O Try”
Illustrated Sewing Primer
Louise J. Kirkwood
New York, NY: Wynkoop & Hallenbeck, 1881
TT710 K58 1881
from Sample Book, circa 1900s
TS1124 S35 1900z
There is a clear etymological root between the words text and textile. We can trace it back to the Latin verb, texere – meaning ‘to weave’.
Chicago, IL: Artists Book Works, 1988
N7433.4 P26 W27 1988
The language of textiles provides us with certain figures of speech that bring a sense of materiality to writing. We weave a tale, spin a yarn, and piece together. There are stories that intertwine and threads that interlace. There are characters that get ensnared in a web of lies, there are ties that bind and relationships that fray. Material and immaterial. Textile and text.
The Voice of Silence
Canmore, Alberta, Canada: Dea Fischer, 2013
N7433.4 F564 V6 2013
Both have served as transmitters of cultural ideas. They have been linked to the sacred — to origin stories, prayers, songs, life cycles, myth-making and storytelling. Both are made from stems, roots, fibers, whether beaten or spun. In some cases, textile evolves into text, as the fabric that was once created by workers in a textile mill eventually becomes rages in a paper mill. Textile to text.
Plattsburgh, NY: Moonkosh Press, Saliente Press 2016
N7433.4 F555 D48 2016
If we look closely, the book itself is nothing more than a form of fiber art. From paper to sewn binding to cloth covers, the book is the perfect example of the interwoven industry of textiles and text.