FABRIC: The Hidden History of the Material World

Join bestselling author Victoria Finlay as she unwinds history through the medium of cloth.

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Join bestselling author Victoria Finlay as she unwinds history through the medium of cloth. Stories of our relationship with cloth are woven in with questions of how and why people through the ages have made it, worn it, invented it, made symbols out of it, and sometimes why they have fought for it.

Finlay goes in search of these stories, finding herself beating the inner bark of trees into cloth in Papua New Guinea, failing to hand spin cotton in Guatemala, visiting tweed weavers at their homes in Harris, and having lessons in patchwork-making in Gee’s Bend, Alabama – where in the 1930s, deprived of almost everything they owned, a community of women turned quilting into an art form.

Her research began just after the deaths of both her parents, making the book as much about her journey through grief and recovery as it is about the hidden history of fabric. By delving into the past, Finlay was able to find peace and comfort with the difficulties she faced in the present.

This is a recording of the online event, FABRIC: The Hidden History of the Material World, which originally took place on Thursday 9 December 2021 via Microsoft Teams.

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