Selvedge is the UK's premier high end textile magazine, exploring and celebrating the joy of textiles in art, fashion, interiors and travel, and "an appreciation of the beautifully made and carefully considered".
The magazine itself is aesthetically sublime and embodies the sensual and textural delight of textiles in all their distinctive forms. The passion behind it stems from Founder Polly Leonard's love of cloth and an acknowledgment of the emotional and physical presence and importance of fabric in our daily lives.
Since its launch as a magazine Selvedge has grown into so much more than a publication, with a strong community of designers and devotees, its own store in Highgate and a vibrant programme of workshops. It has also opened its arms to brands and artisans that are not directly using textiles in their products but that share similar values of integrity, traditional processes and craftsmanship. We are big fans of Selvedge and, it seems, they are of us! We were thrilled to be featured in their magazine recently and we'll also be getting involved in their Craft Spa Day at The Art Worker's Guild in Bloomsbury on May 5th. Here, features Editor Niamh McCoohey talks more about this exciting event:
The ties between craft and therapy have long been in conversation, but how does craft actually contribute to your wellbeing? According to recent research, the rhythm and repetition of movement act not only as a distraction from daily life, but have been clinically proven to raise serotonin levels, inducing relaxation and mindfulness with great meditative healing qualities on both the body and mind. Be it knitting, weaving or stitching we at Selvedge believe that working with textiles can be key to maintaining your wellbeing.
With London Craft Week around the corner, we jumped at the opportunity to celebrate this inherent connection by hosting The Craft Spa at The Art Workers Guild in Bloomsbury, on May 5th. Throughout the day we will explore the health benefits of craftwork with Betsan Corkhill, founder of Stitchlinks, Ruth Battersy Tooke, the senior curator of costume and textiles at the Norwich Castle Study Centre, Marie O’Mahony, professor of Advanced Textiles at Ontario College of Art and Design, and the team at AS Apothecary who will also be on hand throughout the day, offering relaxing treatments for every crafter’s need.
Through each of the talks and workshops guests will come together to share their love of textiles, and this close community atmosphere offers just as much therapeutic benefit as the craftwork itself. Whether it’s making with a friend, family member, colleague or loved one, the process of working with textiles is proven by some of the Craft Council’s recent research to enhance not only your individual wellbeing, but that of your relationships as well.
During the morning, our roster of impressive Craft Spa speakers on the day will offer guests thoughtful and provocative insight into this sense of social connection through textiles. Betsan Corkhill’s company Stitchlinks, for example, is a pioneering organisation that uses knitting to improve wellbeing, where she researches knitting’s therapeutic effects on both pain and memory. Ruth Battersby Tooke’s expertise lies in the complex relationship between mental health and stitch, and Marie O’Mahony will illuminate us with her knowledge on the links between textiles and wellbeing, having already authored several successful publications on the topic.
In the afternoon, guests will have the opportunity to choose from a range of therapeutic workshops led by some of the industry’s leading lights. Whether it’s basket weaving with Hillary Burns, tapestry weaving with Sue Lawty, spinning with Steve Kennet or quilt making with Abigail Booth, guests will be sure to leave The Art Workers Guild topped with happiness, health and a newly made craft piece. Opening in the morning with a few words from Selvedge founder and editor Polly Leonard, the day will close with an apt moment of reflection on everything that everyone has learnt, and Polly will also take part in a Q&A session with all guests and speakers at the end of the day. Between knitting, stitching, quilt making and weaving, the Selvedge Craft Spa aims to improve the community’s wellbeing – both personal and social – working with textiles to sooth the mind and soul.
Selvedge Craft Spa at the Artworker's Guild in Bloomsbury on Friday 5 May, 10-5, £100.