Store Cloth Series
The evolution of woven cloth from historical Appalachian homesteads to disposable “fast-fashion” is expressed in this series of woven panels, recognizing the shifting value of cloth. The panels are handwoven in variations of the Double Bow Know pattern, using discarded industrially made garments. The ondule´ technique of waving threads further distorts this historically relevant pattern, echoing the contemporary perception of woven cloth as ubiquitous and undervalued.
The term ‘store cloth’ was used to describe commercially woven cloth after the end of the Civil War. The availability of commercially woven cloth started the decline in hand weaving- from nearly every Appalachian homestead using a floor loom for hand weaving, to a near-extinction of the craft.
In 1895 a revival of hand weaving in the mountains was inspired when Francis Goodrich was gifted a hand woven overshot coverlet in the traditional Double Bow Knot pattern. (Alvic, 2009) Goodrich’s efforts contributed to the rebirth of hand weaving among women of Appalachia for economic purposes.
Today, massive amounts of commercially woven cloth are produced each day across the globe. Much of this cloth becomes clothing- a multi-trillion dollar industry. (Green Zone, 2016) This cloth is made so quickly, cheaply and in total excess that it is considered, even at times designed to be disposable. The ‘bins’ at Goodwill Industries in Asheville is a last stop for discarded garments and these are sold by the pound. That which is not sold here will be crated for shipment to other countries.
Alvic, Philis. Weavers of the Southern Highlands, University of Kentucky Press, 2009.
http://www.greenzonenc.com/waste-couture/, blog post June 13, 2016.