Friday, 4 January 2013

Picture of love blog 10 'Fabric'

Our final guest blog for pictures of love before we come to Valentines week 2013 comes from one of the Venture FX Pioneers Lou Davis. She is based in Edinburgh and you can read about what she is doing here.

There’s something about fabric that sets my heart alight. Rolls and rolls of colour and pattern, texture and drape. I have to touch them, to feel the weight of the material, to begin the process of imagining. 

My favourite places are where the rolls are piled high, and I need to rummage to find jeweled treasures buried deep beneath the strata of linen and silk.

And when my eyes see something that resonates deep within, and the touch of the fabric is just right, I’ll take down the roll from the shelf and let out a metre or so. I’ll move it gently so it catches the light, to see how the fabric drapes.

And in my mind, I’m not holding a bolt of fabric in a store, I’m on a beach in a flowing skirt, with sand in my toes and the sun in my hair, or I’m celebrating with friends as their new baby wears one of my dresses, or I’m sending a friend off for a special night out, looking fabulous in a cocktail frock, or I’m watching a glowing bride take careful steps down the aisle into a new life.

I love the possibilities that exist in those rolls of fabric.

I wonder for a minute about the love and care that has already gone into creating these beautiful threads. They are the product of growers and spinners, weavers and dyers, and I don’t know their names or which dusty factories they serve. I can only hope that in the lifetime of these fabrics there was as much hope and love and beauty as I see in them now.

Before these fabrics can fulfill any of their potential, I need to buy them, take them home and cut into them. I must do violence to their patterns, cut across their warp and weft, I need to weaken them so that they may be re-shaped, to fit.

That is always the hardest part.

Before I cut I need to be sure of my pattern. I check and double check, measure and remeasure. I close my eyes, take a deep breath and cut.


  1. Oh, that is a lovely post. When I buy something new (which I don't very often) I sometimes think about the people who've made it and pray for them. We have a connection now that I've bought the thing they made... And I'm crazy about fabric shops (do you like John Lewis?) although I mostly just look, as I don't think I have your skills... Now I need to think about what you concluded - that we need to destroy the perfection in order to create. Wow!

  2. Makes you think about things that are carefully and beautifully made too?

  3. Creating can be painful and takes care. And sometimes we make mistakes. We can imagine but what we make doesn't always live up to the dream but we tried and need to be gentle with ourselves.