Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Slow Foods Ideals and Cloth

Elaine Lipson has approached textiles through the same lens that I am approaching crafting: through the lens and principle of the Slow Food Movement. I came across this great article she has written that fully explore the connection between the two.
Image: Glennis Dolce from HandEye
To clarify, she first identifies the misconception is that "slow cloth" is attempting to make things slow. Instead the idea is to focus on the relationship with the product, quality, and to celebrate the process and culture.

She has identified ten principles of the the Sloth Cloth movement that I want to continue to share:
1. Joy in the process
2. It can be contemplative
3. Honors skill with possibility of mastery
4. Celebrates diversity and multicultural history
5. Honors its teachers and past
6. Encourages sustainable use of materials and resources
7. Celebrates quality
8. Appreciates beauty
9. Supports community and respects labor
10. Approach is expressive of individual and cultures

The process of making things for ourselves is far from being an efficient use of our time (from the standards we have set in current manufacturing). Making is not about quantity of production, but being able to put a story into what we do. A friend once commmented that making is " a manifestation of how we see the world." When we take times to make things ourselves we appreciate the materials that go into it, our history and culture are inherently a part of it, we work hard to create a piece of quality, and the time we spent gains a new value.


  1. Slow cloth makes me think of knitting. I'm new to the craft and have successfully finished four scarves, which took me a really long time to construct. Yet, that time was enjoyable, and it felt so good to unplug, do something with my hands, and have the reward of a finished product. Everything is so new in knitting, that I'm also feeling a huge sense of pride and accomplishment for such small things. While knitting I'm still amazed how the yarn is woven and stays together, it's like magic!

  2. Funny that Bria mentioned knitting because I was going to make the same comment. When I knit, i think of being "historically open." When I knit, I am connecting to very basic movements that have been made throughout history in various places and geographies. It's a very old technology that remains relevant! All of our clothing (unless woven) is a form of knit.