So if you’re into crafts or on Instagram, you might have heard of Me Made May. It’s a monthlong celebration of handmade clothing, and it’s truly amazing to see all the wonderful things people are making for themselves.
But if you’re a knitter in the Northern Hemisphere, May isn’t such a great time to show off all your handknits. It’s just starting to get hot, and even the lightest shawlette can be too hot to wear. That’s why I was so glad to hear that Karen Templer over at Fringe Association was planning a Slow Fashion October.
A Slow Fashion October can be anything you want it to be – about mending worn clothes, making by hand or purchasing handmade – but at its heart, it’s really about stopping to think about our clothes and the effort that goes into them.
I was sitting at a spinning circle recently, and one of the women there said something that just blew my mind. She pointed out that for most of recorded history, all fiber was spun on a spindle.
That’s right – a spindle. Not on a wheel. Not by machine. By hand, on a spindle.
What I think of as a slow and tedious way to make yarn was the only way until about the year 1000 C.E.
Fashion, whether it was destined for the royal courts or everyday working gear, was anything but fast. Yarn had to be spun (on a spindle, remember), then woven, then cut and sewn by hand.
Slow Fashion October doesn’t have to be that slow.
I’ve always been fascinated by how things are made. I’ll often follow a trail all the way to the beginning, then branch out and try other things. First it was knitting, which turned into an obsession with pattern design. Then it was spinning my own yarn. Weaving is my latest fascination. After all, I can’t wear sweaters all year long.
Some people might call my constantly evolving fiber hobbies unfocused, but I think it’s incredible that just a few generations ago many of these skills were commonplace and even necessary for survival.
So for my Slow Fashion October, I’m going to focus on the things I make. On incorporating handmade items into my everyday wear, and on making some truly slow fashion – a sweater, of my own handspun, made from local wool.
I’ll be sharing a lot on Instagram. If you’re interested in what other folks are doing, be sure to check out @slowfashionoctober while you’re there.
If you want to participate but don’t know where to start, remember that just being aware of your fashion choices and why you make them is a great place to start.
So let’s get going! Do you have any slow fashion goals?
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