25 episodes

Textiles have an incredible power to talk to us, if we can hear them. They comfort and console us, create memories, define who we are and what we might believe in. They are a detective story that we can hold. Tales of Textiles, hosted by broadcaster and handweaver, Jo Andrews, are an invitation to explore a world of colour and touch and listen to the chatter of cloth.

Haptic & Hue Jo Andrews

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 50 Ratings

Textiles have an incredible power to talk to us, if we can hear them. They comfort and console us, create memories, define who we are and what we might believe in. They are a detective story that we can hold. Tales of Textiles, hosted by broadcaster and handweaver, Jo Andrews, are an invitation to explore a world of colour and touch and listen to the chatter of cloth.

    Shoddy: The Once and Future King

    Shoddy: The Once and Future King

    There’s a way of producing cloth that has been called 200 years of secrecy and lies. It has played a central role in wars, and slavery. It was the foundation of cheaper clothing and clothes rationing. It has changed laws and been the subject of many official inquiries as well as helping to grow the finest rhubarb in the world. This episode looks at how it may now be entering a new phase of its life, offering us a way to prevent our addiction to textiles from ruining the planet.
     
    Shoddy cloth and its sister mungo were first produced in Batley in West Yorkshire, a town that became so filthy from the trade they said the birds flew backward to stop the soot from getting in their eyes. Shoddy production made this part of West Yorkshire’s fortune in the 19th and 20th centuries but also bought a myriad of problems – from accusations of moral hazard to charges of war profiteering and smuggling.  
     
    This episode looks at shoddy’s past – its role in the American Civil War and in creating West Yorkshire's wealth. It also looks at how shoddy, as the ultimate recycled material, is now being recast as the perfect way to cut pollution from textile waste.
     
    If you would like to find out more about shoddy and see some of the pictures referred to in this episode or read the full script – you can find them in the show notes at www.hapticandhue.com/listen, where you can also find links to books about shoddy and access to Haptic and Hue’s textile bookshop, which has a selection of the best textile books in publication at the moment. Every purchase helps the podcast at no extra cost to you.
    The bookshop for US listeners is here.
    The bookshop for UK listeners is here

    • 43 min
    Lyon: City of Silk

    Lyon: City of Silk

    How do textiles shape a city, and how, in turn, does a city and its people shape and change the world of textiles? This episode looks at what the fabrics created in Lyon, in France, tell us about the lives of the people who lived and worked here. It looks at how the innovations that the weavers of Lyon helped to bring about changed us forever, ushering in early ideas of fashion, and at the same time witnessing and utilising the very first steps towards the digital age.  
    This podcast explores one of the great textile cities of the world. For hundreds of years, Lyon was a byword for weaving skill and savoir-faire. The silk fabrics exquisitely woven here dressed the royal families of Europe, clothed merchants and muses, priests and politicians, courtesans and courtiers and produced some of the most coveted fabrics of the day.
    You can find a full script of this episode, on the Haptic and Hue Website at https://hapticandhue.com/tales-of-textiles-series-3/ as well as links and resources to the people you hear in this podcast and the organisations they work for.
     
     

    • 31 min
    African Wax Cloth

    African Wax Cloth

    African Wax Cloth is having its moment in the sun and it seems to be everywhere, from the catwalks of Paris and New York to the humblest country fabric shop. To the world’s eyes, it is joyful and original, a celebration of West African identity and culture. But what is this fabric, where does it really come from and what does it mean to the different societies and communities that have had a hand in shaping it?
     
    The is episode explores the curious origins of African Wax Cloth, and the twists and turns in an extraordinary story that is behind the creation of the fabric that is one of West Africans most iconic fabrics. But the origins of this cloth lie thousands of miles away from the place that now calls it home. Find out more in this episode.
     
    You can see pictures of the textiles we talk about in this episode, a full script and a list of further resources on the Haptic and Hue Website at https://hapticandhue.com/tales-of-textiles-series-3/

    • 38 min
    Whole Cloth From The hills

    Whole Cloth From The hills

    Textiles can tell us different stories – not just those of the rich and powerful – they have the power to take us beyond that and tell us tales of working people, families living difficult lives in tough times, those whom history and the written records tend to overlook. This episode is about whole cloth quilting. It explores how this technique and process eventually settled in one area of England and became an emblem of pride and local identity for people who had hardscrabble lives.   
     
    North Country whole cloth quilts are very different from patchwork quilts. Their showmanship lies in the swirling design of the quilting stitches on a completely plain background. Quilting is a process that goes back centuries, used by rich and poor alike to keep warm, as a rudimentary armour in battle, and to dress babies. Find out how this technique became identified with an area of England that stretches from North Yorkshire up onto the Scottish Borders and developed an elaborate artistry all of its own – one that even today is little known and appreciated.
     
    You can see pictures of the textiles we talk about in this episode, a full script, and a list of further resources on the Haptic and Hue Website at https://hapticandhue.com/tales-of-textiles-series-3/

    • 37 min
    Paisley - The Pattern Nomad

    Paisley - The Pattern Nomad

    Can something belong to us all – just by virtue of the fact that we are human beings? If anything has a claim to that – it is the Paisley motif, which has woven its way in and out of human history like no other pattern. This episode traces the history and some of the many appearances attached to this lovely shape, from its incarnation as a tree of life in Ancient Babylon to an emblem of America’s Wild West or the Swinging Sixties in London.
     
    Paisley has many names and even more meanings. It is the sleeping dragon of patterns – retiring under the hill for decades of slumber before being re-purposed by new cultures and new generations to signify something different. It belongs to many hands and no one, in particular, can lay claim to it, making it one of the truly global patterns. Listen to some of the journey of this nomad in this episode of Haptic and Hue’s Tales of Textiles.
     
    You can see pictures of the textiles we talk about in this episode, a full script and a list of further resources on the Haptic and Hue Website at https://hapticandhue.com/tales-of-textiles-series-3/

    • 35 min
    A United Nations of Cloth

    A United Nations of Cloth

    In the West of England lies an old house that is a quiet treasure chest of textiles. The man who has built up this astonishing United Nations of cloth is using them to change the way all of us value and understand textiles.
    Over many years Karun Thakar has created a collection of handmade textiles from Africa, Asia, and Europe. Some of these fabrics would have been the height of fashion in their day, destined for trade, but others are humble domestic miracles telling tales of hardship and struggle, often outlining the difficult lives of the women who made and repaired them.
    Karun Thakar believes that every fabric in his collection has a story to tell us about the eye for design and colour of the people who made them and the way they lived their lives. His brilliant appreciation of textiles means that he was collecting Kantha cloth, Japanese boro garments, Ottoman and French embroidery, English smocks, Tibetan aprons, Indian phulkari and more before most of us knew what they were. Now he lends and donates his pieces to museums around the world hoping the deepen the understanding of what they mean and the cultures they belong to.
    Listen to him talk about why he collects and what he’s trying to achieve in this week’s episode, the United Nations of Cloth, of Haptic & Hue’s Tales of Textiles.
    I provide a full transcript, pictures, and links to the work of the contributors to these podcasts, as well as a list of books and articles that have inspired me in making each episode on my website at: www.hapticandhue.com/listen. You can also find the Haptic and Hue bookshop at https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/hapticandhue .
    If you would like to sign up for your own link to the podcasts as they are released, for extra information and a chance to access the free textile gifts I offer with each episode then please fill out the very brief form at the bottom of the Haptic and Hue Listen page above. You can follow Haptic and Hue on Instagram @hapticandhue on Facebook or Linked In under the Haptic and Hue name. 
     

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

suzyhome ,

Fascinating

One of the most interesting podcasts ever.
Textiles tie us together. They represent our common humanity and our diversity.
Jo Anderson chooses fascinating subjects on textiles and then explains how they relate to our lives.
(And her voice is lovely!)

bluebbe1 ,

Very well done

Very well versed on this subject!

KristinCrane ,

A must-listen for any fiber lover

So happy to have found this podcast. Each episode is well researched and full of interesting information.

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