Although there have been diversions , since March of this year I have been perusing ideas around edges and unpicked seams, see here, and I present to you this scrap of cotton which measures 14.5cm x 12.5cm.

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Even the smallest fragment has a story to tell. I picked this cloth up in  a bundle from a textile fair and what I find appealing is the wear and tear that it displays.

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Here is part of its story; 

Cotton 22 threads per centimetre ( which makes it a low quality cotton cloth), 

Mid C18th, block printed with metal pins in the block (to create the dots)

Madder dye in two colours, red and dark brown.

A French seam to the right and a running stitch seam in the middle along two selvedges with a very narrow seam allowance. These have both been sewn with  the same thread which matches the warp thread in the fabric. This was common in the C18th before we had what we know today as sewing thread. The bottom edge has cut across these seams.

The unpicked seams to the left and bottom were made from running stitches and a finer thread than before but still not modern thread.

What was it?  I have no idea but I would postulate that  originally it was part of a dress and then unpicked and then used as a bodice lining – fabrics were expensive and therefore reused until they fell apart.

And so I have the beginnings of a set of books which I will call  “A seam is within, an unpicked seam is an edge”

On Sunday we went into Manchester to visit the Manchester Contemporary Art Fair and the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair – brilliant, such talent and skill around, so uplifting on a wet day!