The Art of Textiles
Beyond basic necessities such as clothing and home goods, textile art—from embroidery to quilting to haute couture—is one of the oldest and most prolific forms of creative expression. By this point, however, many of our modern production methods, materials, and supply chains have become unsustainable—both for the environment, and for the animals and humans who live in it. What to do? In this issue, which explores some of the history behind textiles, we also look into how they could be produced more sustainably.
When you put on a stylish jacket made of rayon, vegan leather, or even recycled plastic, are you sure you’re helping the planet more than if you had bought one made of animal leather? In this journey down a very twisted rabbit hole, sustainable fashion expert Alden Wicker, founder and editor-in-chief of EcoCult, finds answers that may not be particularly comfortable for the animal rights movement.
By ALDEN WICKER
Only a handful of artisans still practice the centuries-old craft of rust printing on fabric. Of those who do, even fewer use the traditional stone mangle, or press, on handwoven, raw hemp fabric, yielding textiles that can last for centuries. The Marchi family printworks, in Italy’s Romagna region, may well be the only place left in the world that still produces authentic, rust-printed textiles that are fully handmade.
Story and Film by LUISA GROSSO