Ruth is terribly fond of silk in all its forms. A longtime handspinner and inveterate band weaver, she is fascinated by textile history and participates in the annual European Textile Forum, a gathering of textile archaeologists, historians and curators. She has authored several articles and two books (Learn to Spin Silk, and Getting Started with Tablet Weaving) and maintains a website chronicling her spinning, weaving, and dyeing experiments (www.spinningforth.com). She leads workshops at fiber and craft shows in the UK and Ireland, and teaches occasionally in the US.
The little things often make a big difference. A beautiful blanket becomes a framed masterpiece with a finish of trim, ribbon, applied band, or fringe. Household goods are durable treasures when they have hidden reinforcements, braided piping, a constructed closure, or even a humble hanging loop. Garments thrill to the touch of brocade, playful ricrac, a subtle accent line, or flash of color.
Ribbons, trims, tapes, and accents are embedded in the fabric of most human cultures, and this seminar explores these small, helpful textiles. Though not comprehensive, the scope is wide-ranging, presenting traditions from Scandinavia to northern Africa, from western Europe to Japan. We will discuss the uses of these small textiles and the widely varied tools and techniques used to create them. The focus is on the structure and construction of these important little things, rather than on a pursuit of embellishment (though sometimes embellishment just happens!).