Archive for January, 2016

I don’t know when was it exactly I started thinking about what I wear, not so much in the fashion sense, but more on the ethical side of things.

Maybe it emerged from the casual conversations during craft markets with my friend, Amy, who always professes her love for linen clothes. Maybe it was when I sewed my first garment and fell in love with the sense of satisfaction of wearing my own made clothes. Or maybe it was when I discovered the term Visible Mending through textile practitioner, TomofHolland, while reading an article n Uppercase magazine.

(To explain how linen clothes points towards ethics: Linen is one of those “Green Fibres” due to it longevity and how quickly it grows without the need for copious amounts of pesticides. In comparison, the popular fibre, cotton, also consumes enormous amounts of water to grow, which makes linen more eco-friendly.)

Whenever it started, it is definitely something I have started thinking about recently. Being someone who works so much with fabrics and textiles, I am naturally interested in where and how these materials I handle daily come from.

So when I came across this video filmed at Sagnlandet Lejre, Historical Archaeological Research and Communication Center, Denmark, which explains how textiles are made from plant to the final woven piece, it opened my eyes.

It is such a tedious process but yet so inspiring to think who invented/ discovered how to make textiles! Of course, I am sure today’s textile industry has simplified the primitive process with the help of mechanization, but the process is no less easy.

Which leads me to think about what I wear. When chancing upon this article, I began thinking about slow fashion and what it means to be a conscious consumer.

It wasn’t too far back when I was concerned about being seen wearing the same clothes over and over again. So what changed? Why are we led to constantly need to buy a new wardrobe every new fashion trend (or season change) when it leads to so much textile waste? The same textiles that goes through that long process to become clothes.

Now I have begun to realise, it is ok to wear clothes repeatedly, and let them get worn and faded with each wear. There are always ways of mending. In fact, I am excited to try out visible mending, to highlight the age of my favourite pieces. It is also a nice opportunity to put my embroidery skills to work.


my first attempt at Visible Mending

Reading about Boro fabrics from Japan, that follows the “ancient Japanese tradition of making do and mending.” It is interesting to note how much history can be woven into these mendings. It is akin to my love for old buildings. There isn’t always a need to raze them from the ground, instead think about restoring and highlighting areas of their historical structure. It will take time to change the mindset, but I am going to start thinking the same about clothes.

Read Full Post »

During the last few days of 2015, we were talking about the things Momshoo, my small business, achieved and did in the year. Interestingly, we realized that much of it revolved around the craft technique of embroidery.

From the new products we created: wee pouches, mini embroidered flags, pot holders, jot of ideas book covers, embroidered rock paperweights… They all carried a hint of embroidery.





Early in the year, I also tried out a technique based workshop (rather than our usual product based classes), an embroidery sampler workshop to great response… and which has gone on to become our most popular workshop offering. It is amazing and sometimes when I look back I wonder, being mostly self-taught and having only done it seriously for slightly over a year, what made me think I am qualified to give a class on the topic? But I am happy I did and humbled that people took a chance on the class and came out having learnt something new or in the very least enjoying the session.  


Even some of the art I made this year featured embroidery!


It was an interest that began towards the end of 2014 and lasted through to 2015 and I am still being fascinated by the possibilities of this traditional craft. Still learning new things and being inspired by the myriad of things I could do with it.


I ended the year with thinking about how to add personal touches to clothing a with embroidery (something I saw back in my trip to Taipei in 2014 and again in a POPIN craft trip to the same city in Dec 2015) I am thinking some techniques of visible mending next?

Read Full Post »