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The Little Block-Printing Workshop that Could

“A rising tide doesn’t raise people who don’t have a boat. We have to build the boat for them. We have to give them the basic infrastructure to rise with the tide.” – Rahul Gandhi Padmini Govind awoke at 3 a.m. to her cell phone ringing. It was mid-October, 2020, and rain was pounding the…

Listen to “A Black Artist’s Haven on a (mostly) White Vineyard”

Martha’s Vineyard has long been seen as a summer retreat for the East Coast elite. The island’s reality, however, is a far more complex environment that has welcomed and inspired generations of Black Americans, including an artist and doll maker named Janice Frame.

Listen to “The Toolbelt Masters”

With gumption, insight, and brilliant use of social media, a few guys in Virginia built an operation that makes what could be the world’s finest toolbelts.

Listen to “The Secret to Vintage Jeans”

In November, 2017, the doors closed on North Carolina’s White Oak plant—one of the first, and (almost) the last, big textile mill in the U.S. to make true, vintage-style denim. Our correspondent tracks down the secret to classic jeans, and their unexpected future.

The Folk School Movement and ‘Slow Economics’

Rather than looking to big corporate employers for economic stability, could more rural communities welcome a less obvious, slower growing, yet more sustainable economic partner? In the far western tail of North Carolina, the road leading to the John C. Campbell Folk School narrows from a six-lane highway to four lanes, then barely two. It…

Listen to “Historical Clothing’s Comeback”

A collection of sewing enthusiasts, dedicated to the anachronistic art of making old-fashioned clothes, stumbles onto a path that revives quality, comfort, ecological consciousness—and respect for the female form in all its varieties.

Listen to “Rebecca Burgess on Slow Fashion and Place-Based Economies: a Craftsmanship Artisan Interview”

Rebecca Burgess is the executive director of Fibershed, an internationally recognized nonprofit focused on transforming the clothing and textile system, the author of two books, and a vocationally trained weaver and natural dyer. She sat down with Craftsmanship Quarterly to talk about price and privilege when it comes to “slow fashion,” why the world can…

The Secret to Vintage Jeans

In November, 2017, the doors closed in North Carolina on Cone Denim’s White Oak plant, one of the first, and (for a while) the last, big textile mill in the U.S. to make vintage-style denim. When our correspondent first visited, he discovered that the secret to classic jeans has long come from a strange mix of obsolete machinery and American mythology. Now, after following other companies that moved manufacturing overseas, traditional Made-in-USA jeans might be coming back.

By BRIAN HOWE, with updated reporting by TODD OPPENHEIMER

Listen to “The Human Cost of Recycled Cotton”

Organic, recycled, or synthetic: As the fashion industry scrambles to find more sustainable textiles, what’s the future of cotton? And what is the true cost? Editor’s note: This story was updated from the original by the author for re-release in our Fall 2021 issue.

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