Textile Toolbox in Uppsala

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In May the Textile Toolbox Pop-up exhibition travelled with TED’s junior researcher Josefin Landalv to Upplandsmuseet in Sweden. The regions craft organization was celebrating their 100-year jubilee with a summer exhibition made by local craft talents.

The title of the exhibition is Craft is Life, and the pieces were inspired by the museum archives. Its main objectives are to question why we do craft today and illustrate craft as it exists in the present day. The crafters’ response is displayed under the themes: material, shape, the home, the human body and activism.

Josefin’s Textile Toolbox exhibit Sweaver is part of the exhibition. The piece, which is a sample collection woven out of Swedish post consumer textile waste and TENCEL yarn, suggests a service between Swedish hand weavers and its consumers. Sweden does not currently recycle any textile waste and most of it is incinerated. Through this proposed service and skilled craftsmanship textile waste could get a second life instead of going up in flames.

After the exhibition launch the visitors were invited to listen to a talk in the auditorium about the Textile Toolbox project. The Textile Toolbox Exhibition is a collection of ten pieces created by the TED researchers in collaboration with scientists, academics and professionals for the end of the first phase of the MISTRA Future Fashion Project. The different exhibition pieces create a toolkit of instructions, which aim to assist textile designers to make better-informed decisions that lead to more sustainable products.

Following the talk there was time for the audience to have a closer look at the exhibits and ask questions. The main feedback from the spectators was that the Textile Toolbox content made them feel more aware of the issues when creating sustainable textiles and inspired them to do something about it. The crowd, who were mostly members of the local craft organisation found that Strategy 1 – Design to Minimize Waste and Strategy 6 – Design that Takes Models from Nature and History, were particularly relevant for their own practice. Great interest was also shown for the aesthetics and the DIY personalisation aspects of Professor Becky Earley’s upcycled polyester top Fast Refashion. A number of the crafters also said they would be interested in a national upcycling service such as Sweaver.