50 episodes

Haptic & Hue's Tales of Textiles explores the way in which cloth speaks to us and the impact it has on our lives. It looks at how fabric traditions have grown up and the innovations that underpin its creation. It thinks about the skills that go into constructing it and what it means to the people who use it. It looks at the different light textiles cast on the story of humanity.

Haptic & Hue Jo Andrews

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 175 Ratings

Haptic & Hue's Tales of Textiles explores the way in which cloth speaks to us and the impact it has on our lives. It looks at how fabric traditions have grown up and the innovations that underpin its creation. It thinks about the skills that go into constructing it and what it means to the people who use it. It looks at the different light textiles cast on the story of humanity.

    The Forgotten Medieval Craft of Cloth Staining

    The Forgotten Medieval Craft of Cloth Staining

     
    From the grandest palace to the poorest cottage, so-called ‘stained’ cloths brought colour and joy to everyday life in England for hundreds of years. These specially painted and stamped fabrics formed the backdrop to funerals, ceremonies, processions, masques, and tournaments that required banners, flags, pennants or scenery from 1300 onwards. 

    But this world of dazzling medieval colour and pattern has been mostly lost to history because so much of the cloth has perished, and the craft of the stainers has been so little understood. Now Haptic & Hue re-discovers the secrets of making stained cloth and looks at how it was used.

    This episode uncovers the secrets of the 14th century fabric stainers which lie in a pocket-sized book, transcribed more than six hundred years ago, by monks at Gloucester Cathedral. It contains 30 recipes for preparing cloth and special water-based colours to permanently paint and block print wool and linen. Haptic & Hue took a trip to Gloucester Cathedral to explore the lost world of medieval textiles.
    For more information, a full transcript and further links, see  https://hapticandhue.com/tales-of-textiles-series-6/

    • 38 min
    Invisible Hands: Tapestry Weavers and Artists

    Invisible Hands: Tapestry Weavers and Artists

    Great tapestries have been used to decorate and embellish homes and palaces for centuries, and yet the hands that created these works remain almost completely forgotten.  Art institutions treasure their ancient tapestries woven painstakingly over many months, and even years and know almost everything about them, except the names of those who created these extraordinary pieces. Modern artists, like Picasso, Henry Moore and Marc Chagall see their work rendered into a different and exciting form by tapestry weavers, but no-one remembers who the weaver was or is.
     
    This episode of Haptic and Hue looks at tapestry weaving and the process of collaboration that goes on between an artist and a weaver to produce a new work. It asks if tapestry weavers are forever destined to be seen as anonymous helping hands, or if their skill, craft and artistry is now, finally, beginning to be recognised as an art in its own right.  We talk to a gifted tapestry weaver about what it is like to work on a piece for several months and how much of herself she pours into each new weaving.
     
    For more information, a full transcript and further links, see  https://hapticandhue.com/tales-of-textiles-series-6/

    • 38 min
    The Garment That Sweeps Through History: The Everlasting Cloak

    The Garment That Sweeps Through History: The Everlasting Cloak

    There’s a piece of clothing that has a good claim to being a universal garment. It is thousands of years old and yet it featured on the catwalks last year. It’s stylish and at the same time the humblest and simplest of garments. It has been worn and enjoyed by rich and poor alike. It has been repurposed and reshaped throughout human history and it has fulfilled many functions.
     
    The cloak has kept us good company throughout the centuries, it has marched with armies across plains and deserts, it has been sanctified and worn by saints, and was just as beloved by sinners such as highwaymen. It became the emblem of witches on broomsticks and superheroes flying through the sky. It was worn by hobbits to make them invisible and it is still revered as the ultimate in stylish outerwear by Venetians.
     
    This episode of Haptic & Hue looks at the cloak, cape, cope, mantle, and all its other many forms through history and tries to answer the question of why it has proved such a joyful, useful and versatile garment.
     
    For more information, a full transcript and further links, see  https://hapticandhue.com/tales-of-textiles-series-6/
     

    • 38 min
    Ukraine's Revolutionary Act of Embroidery: How Identity Survives in Stitches

    Ukraine's Revolutionary Act of Embroidery: How Identity Survives in Stitches

    As the war in the Ukraine brutally shows, few people have had as hard a struggle down the centuries to maintain their identity as Ukrainians. For hundreds of years, they have been occupied and subjugated by one power after another, the Ottomans, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Russia, Poland, the Nazis, and Russia again. Through it all Ukrainians have held onto their traditions: one of the strongest of these has been the beautifully and skilfully stitched motifs on plain linen or hemp shirts.
     
    The embroidery of Ukraine is one of its secret weapons and an incredible defence against the cultural annihilation that has been practiced against it. What it means to be a Ukrainian is powerfully expressed in the complex and beautifully worked stitches that go into decorating their national dress. The knowledge of what each stitch means and the skill to make these shirts is thriving and continues to be passed down the generations. This episode of Haptic & Hue is about how the beautifully embroidered shirts and blouses of Ukraine have endured as a symbol of the country’s fight for existence and have become so entwined with the identity of Ukrainians that some refer to it as part of their genetic code.
     
    For more information, a full transcript and further links, see https://hapticandhue.com/tales-of-textiles-series-6 
     
     

    • 43 min
    The Point of The Needle - How the Ancient Craft of Stitching Shapes Us

    The Point of The Needle - How the Ancient Craft of Stitching Shapes Us

    The needle and thread have been humanity’s constant companions for tens of thousands of years: far longer than the dog, the sword, or the wheel, and much longer than reading and writing. Down the centuries the needle has rendered us incredible service and we have come to depend on it. And yet the activity of stitching has long been ignored in the record of human endeavour. Even the modern trend for embracing making and craft tends to leave out sewing. But a new book just out, comes to try to redress the balance.
     
    Haptic & Hue’s Book of the Year for 2023 is Barbara Burman’s The Point of The Needle. In it, Barbara says ‘stitching and stitches are valued precisely because they embody human life and invention, and cloth itself is inseparable from them’. Barbara was the co-author of the well-received book called ‘The Pocket – A Secret History of Women’s Lives’, but in this new book, Barbara has a much bigger canvas: to rescue sewing from the twilight and to celebrate it as a fundamental human activity.
     
    For more information, a full transcript, and further links, https://hapticandhue.com/tales-of-textiles-series-5/

    • 29 min
    The Language of Thread - Why Sewing Matters and How It Was Taught

    The Language of Thread - Why Sewing Matters and How It Was Taught

    Sewing is one of the most vital but also one of the most overlooked human crafts. Every piece of clothing we wear has been put together by someone who has learned to sew. Millions of people sew for pleasure and millions more earn their living in the textile and clothing industries – often in underpaid and unprotected jobs. 
     
    The craft of using a needle has been one of humanity’s greatest skills, ever since this tiny piece of technology came into use around 60,000 years ago. It is something that unites us all as human beings, regardless of ethnicity, religion or geography. For most of time, sewing as a skill was passed from generation to generation. But, in the last few hundred years, as textiles and thread have been produced in abundance, how we learned to sew became a political matter. Governments, churches, politicians, and corporations all had a view on the morality and the methods necessary to turn out the ideal needlewoman.
     
    This episode of Haptic & Hue tells the little-known story of how two separate sewing schools on different sides of the Atlantic gave women all over the world a new life of economic independence, social status and personal power.  One of these education programmes took the Singer sewing machine into every corner of the globe. The other, a ground-breaking teacher training college in London, had an impact on the lives of millions of girls all over the world.
     
    For more information, a full transcript and further links, https://hapticandhue.com/tales-of-textiles-series-5/

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
175 Ratings

175 Ratings

Malnich ,

The most incredible podcast

Jo Andrews — weaver, historian, storyteller — and her team deliver consist quality in the stories of fabric! Each episode brings celebration and context to the lived experiences of cloth and cultures and humans. There is a depth to her examination of the history and emotions woven into (pun intended) the personal and mechanical production of textiles that I find in no other podcast in any topic. It is worth every second of your time!

YellowstoneMags ,

Historical textiles

If you enjoyed Fiber Nation then you will love this podcast. Textile history with a British accent.

shark🦈🦈🦈🦈🦈🦈🦈🦈🦈🦈 ,

Hands down the best!

This podcast is deeply moving, incredibly informative, thoughtful and inspiring. I love the inclusion of the bits of literature inspired by the act of sewing. Here’s to many more years of beautiful content.

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