Introducing ~ Tools of the Trade

By Crispina ffrench

If you are a maker – you know that work is more pleasurable when done with well-made tools that are just right for the job.  Often, our tools are not only highly functional, also beauty to behold, becoming more gorgeous and meaningful as they take on the patina of years of use.

Today we kick-off our Tools of The Trade series, focused on implements used in our creative textile recycling processes.  Our tools, like the work we perform with them, are simple, accessible and often rooted in ancient history. 

Sewing, dating back over 50,000 years is a skill that sustains life by helping to provide us with food (fish nets, gathering bags etc.) clothing and shelter (tipis, yurts, etc) – our basic needs to exist on Earth.

Historical reference to the sewing of cloth can be traced back 4000 years with earlier references pertaining to joining leaves and animal hides dating back thousands of years earlier, back to the advent of humans on Earth.

Through all the ages some of our tools maintain a close similarity to those of our ancestors.  Needles, date back over 50,000 years yet the basic form and function remain true.  A strong hard rod with a point on one end and a hole on the other, allowing the pulling of thread (or sinew) through layers of fabric (or hides or leaves)

Scissors have evolved over the millennia with few, but instrumental changes, allowing an ease of slicing through layers of material with one hand in smooth motion.   While scissors are everyday objects, they are also universal and irreplaceable tools that reveal a human bond with their worn surfaces bearing witness to years of service.

Investing in good quality, beautiful tools can transform your creative textile making from a frustration to pure joy.  Assessing which tool is best for you boils down to a few simple questions. 

1.     How well does the tool perform the desired function?

2.     Does it feel comfortable in your hand?

3.     Does the tool make your creative process easier or more fun? 

This Tools of the Trade series will deep dive into all the tools we use in the CRISPINA studio to upcycle second hand clothing and manufacturer’s waste.  To get started all you need is a needle, thread or yarn, fabric, scissors, and a few items of discarded clothing made of fabrics you love. Simple and limitless.

Comment below. Share a tool you love or one have questions about or would like included in this series.

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