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WELCOME TO THE MAGAZINE. Look inside our pages and you’ll sense there is something else on offer besides the subtle design, peerless writing and beautiful photography; there’s a philosophy and a belief system based on a cerebral and sensual addiction to textiles in all forms. If, like me, you believe in the importance of your material surroundings and have a passion for the beautiful and beautifully made, then Selvedge is for you. This magazine evolved from my desire for a magazine reflecting this passion with a degree of elegance. Our aim is simple: to offer a total aesthetic experience, with textiles as the thread linking fine art, fashion, travel and interiors. In combining elements of both specialised and lifestyle titles, Selvedge represents something entirely new.
Selvedge is being launched at a time when fashion and the mainstream’s passion for the handmade and crafted appears to have deepened into a long running affair. Evidence of making is suddenly desirable, and this work-intensive aesthetic is exactly what Selvedge offers. We intend to establish a platform for the promotion of talented designer makers and in this issue we include Kate Blee’s striking designs, page 50. I’m sure you will admire her expertly beaded cushions made by the villagers in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We also visit textile maker Asta Barrington, page 70, Tim Clinch’s stunning photographs capture the subtle elegance of her home.
At a time when branding reigns supreme Selvedge will reinstate the individual. As one Paris-based trend forecaster recently pointed out, ‘Many people are saying that they actually want fewer things and that they have to be special’. Selvedge is dedicated to this idea. Those looking for something unique should head to our shopping panels on pages 32, 39 and 78.
Travel is another great way to discover unusual treasures. Angela Thompson uncovers the baroque capital of Lithuania in this issue. With its imminent acceptance into the European Union, now could be the perfect time to sample the delights of Vilnius as described on page 36. There’s even a chance to win a free visit by entering our competition for a weekend break courtesy of Baltic Holidays.
In the Selvedge office, we are pretty confident that you will enjoy our first issue. Please let us know what you think by completing the enclosed questionnaire and play your part in shaping Selvedge. First one out of the hat is off to Vilnius. •••
We asked our contributors to tell us about their favourite fabrics.
DEIRDRE MCSHARRY Pattern has always appealed to me; as a child I would have lived in a Klimt painting. Ikat weaves are a recent passion and the collection at the Ashmolean is a shrine. For clothes Carole Waller has the gift to paint colour on fabric in subtle patterns that flatter the wearer.
JESSICA HEMMINGS As a student in a workshop with Junichi Arai I was once given a thread of stainless steel filament he had recently developed. The fibre is a by-product of manufacturing steel reinforcements for tyres and challenges a number of basic material associations. Arai’s stainless steel woven fabric epitomises, for me, the sheer breadth that the term textile can encompass.
CLARE LEWIS Childhood memories of exquisitely embroidered Swiss organdie dresses, my grandmother’s embroidered handkerchiefs, my mother’s ‘honeymoon’ organdie blouse in mouse grey/brown embroidered with delicate pink flowers, and latterly my own daughter’s first party dress in ice blue organdie embroidered and smocked have given me an enduring love of gossamer fabrics.
Polly Leonard Editor