World 50, Exploration C

Google street map pinpointing ‘Sew stations near me’.

This collection of items provides an insights into the culture of World 50, in which every person has a unique, sewn signature with which they adorn each other’s clothing. The more signatures a garment ‘holds’, the more it is prized.

This garment shows some of the many styles of embellished signatures; the placement of the signature also carries meaning.

Sewing boxes, containing the essential items for stitching a signature, are often carried. Those who find themselves without their kit when a signature is needed can head to a ‘sew station’, as shown (with an appropriate symbol) on this Google Maps screenshot.

A fun-filled festival, Tong Ting, takes place every year. Wearing blank white robes, people use exaggerated and distorted versions of their symbols (‘tings’) to adorn each other’s outfits. The festival is not just an excuse for a good time; it is also an opportunity for parents to teach sewing skills – which, after all, are essential in this culture – to their children. Here we can see one little boy’s school project describing his experience of Tong Ting day.

This Exploration was contributed by Tamar Millen, Ruhee Das Chowdhury and Leah Das (located in the UK), developed from a World contributed by Matthew Crowley, 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 authors and share their material using the same Creative Commons licence.

Does this World remind you of something?

I am keen to hear about any historical or contemporary real-world examples – whether individual practices, subcultures or mainstream activities – that this fiction brings to mind.

Please share any such examples using this form. Thank you!

Published by Amy Twigger Holroyd

explorer of Fashion Fictions

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