A PROJECT SUPPORTING THE REVIVAL OF NEEDLEWORK SKILLS
In years past when paper was not as available for public consumption as it is today, many children's books were made of cloth, either commercially produced or handsewn at home. The cloth books were appealing - made from fabric remnants or scraps, they were soft, personal, inexpensive, and washable.
It was a time when needlework talents were valued, and sometimes endured (itchy woollen sweaters!) - whether lacemaking, embroidery, Aboriginal quill and beadwork, needlepoint, knitting, or many other creative sewing art forms including wonderful samplers made by young girls honing their embroidery skills.
Time moved on. Knitting machines now produce intricate patterns in record time and children's paper books are readily available. Today, not only professional artists, but ordinary people as well, are returning to needlework as a form of creative expression. They welcome the opportunity to slow down, and yet be challenged. And men are not excluded! From those who believe they are unable to actively participate in the revival, there is a growning admiration for the sensitive handiwork of others who do.
As the ecologically-minded Brazil Publishing House, "Maco Books" has noted,"Maco cloth books require no trees to be cut down."
THE CLOTH BOOKS PROJECT
The needlework project, CROSSING GENERATIONS TO SEW FAMILY TIES focuses on the creation and sharing of handmade one-of-a-kind cloth books with a variety off themes for all ages and educational purposes including specially made cloth books for disabled children. We recommend that sewers do as much handwork on their books as possible. We prefer that sewing machines only be used in the assembly of covers and pages.
Besides encouraging and assisting all those who are interested in making personal cloth books, we also invite anyone who owns an old handmade cloth book to contact us. The condition of the handmade cloth book does not matter, but the amount of handsewing does.
We are planning to have a Cloth Books Exhibition featuring many of the newly handmade cloth books. As well, we look forward to exhibiting a number of heritage handmade cloth books. Although all cloth books made at our workshops become the property of the sewer, we may request the loan of selected cloth books for the Cloth Books Exhibition. These books will be returned to the owners at the conclusion of the exhibition.