In World 74 seeded, knitted textiles first used for food-growing are upcycled into clothes, the textures initially knitted to benefit the seeds becoming the textures of the cloth. This takes place in a domestic setting across our communities with different communities associated with different textures and garments.
The origin of this culture can be traced back to the accidental sprouting of seeds being transported in knitted cloth – around 11th century BC. This evolved into a complex technology that became the basis for loops of fiber-food-clothing-compost biomass-based societies where clothes are a collaboration between landscape, plants and people.
What if …
we grew seeds on textiles (which currently is a real thing that happens in agriculture) and then used those textiles to make clothes? The patterns of those textiles that have been created for the benefit of the seeds – different seeds requiring different patterns – would then become the palette with which communities can design their clothing. Dimples for beetroot microgreens, deep pores for peas, cables to encourage water flow. The textiles are stained by the growing plants in hues of brown, yellow, orange and green or even purples from beets and purples pinks and blues from cabbage sproutings. Issuing clothes might range from vests to boiled wool jackets.
Does clothing need to be the first and often final destination for our fiber? We often look at downstream use of fiber – clothes shredded into new ‘reclaimed’ fibers. What if fiber was used for other things before becoming clothing? So creating another ‘cycle’ for these fibers (based on permaculture cycles of energy thinking). Further the textiles used in farming are usually single shot, and non composting. So wastes from one area (agritextiles) can become food for another process (clothing).
Natasha Myers – planthroposcene; Neri Oxman – Material Ecology; rice carried in slaves’ hair during the middle passag; Svenja Keune’s textile farming; Mona Nasseri on craft and self-actualisation; Thomas Libertiny on collaborating with nature
This World was contributed by Alice-Marie Archer (located in Bristol, UK) using a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence which allows others to share and adapt the work in any medium and for any purpose, providing that they credit the author and share their material using the same Creative Commons licence.
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