The Working of Cloth
‘As a volunteer gardener near Duddingston Loch in Edinburgh I was intrigued to find that Duddingston had been a weaving village which in times past produced a rough cloth known as Duddingston Hardings. I was curious to find out more about this fabric and discovered that it was linen made from local flax which was retted in the loch, before being spun into a utility fabric. Given its lowly status, no samples of this cloth have survived to the present day. I was inspired by the story of this forgotten cloth and resolved to make some simple drafts of plain weaving where the fibres are highlighted as opposed to the structure of the cloth. I harvested plants from the Loch and used these fibres to make thread to weave my own cloth. In building my fabric, I counted the ‘picks’ as the weft passed back and forth while the repetition of stripes made me think of time passing and a tentative link to Duddingston Loch.
My piece entitled The Working of Cloth is a tribute to the linen that was once made so close to where I live. The individual hand-woven samples demonstrate functionality while others simply illustrate the inherent beauty of woven fabric. Below the line of fabric samples and running in parallel with it, are drawings which were inspired by the process of weaving and the journey of the thread.’
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Linda Green, May 2018