“Whole cloth is not the whole story" with Carl Stewart
Whole cloth is a fabric straight from loom, intact, a blank canvas of possibilities.
But what if that fabric is made from recycled or repurposed textiles? Does it limit the possibilities? Does it retain any vestiges of its previous life? Does it resonate in the hand, to the touch?
Does it remember?
Does a cloth made from the fabrics of discarded mattresses carry with it the weight of the bodies that have slept, dreamt, convalesced, had sex or even died on?
Does a fabric made from the knotted string of tea bags retain any of the cultural and ritualistic significance, the colonial history or offer any of the comfort sought in a cup of tea?
Does a cloth made from discarded fishing nets convey the desperation of industries, communities, and species in collapse?
Does a cloth made from the canvas of World War II army tent hold the memories of the solders who sheltered and slept in it?
When we consider these questions we quickly realize that whole cloth is not the whole story.
wholecloth is a series hand-woven cloths made from found, gifted and inherited textiles and upcycled materials. Fabrics are meticulously unwoven thread-by-thread and tied together, fishing nets are clipped to create one continuous thread, thousands of tea string are knotted end-to-end. These new yarns are then woven into a whole new cloth.
wholecloth references early hand-woven Acadian and Scottish textiles from Prince Edward Island and rural textile from Japan and draws on the tenets of the Slow Cloth Movement and its respect for materials and process.