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10/8/09

To recycle fabric or ...... not



There is a really thought-provoking blog post over here 
that has set me to thinking about how we are so inclined to forget the perspectives of other cultures

In our post-modern world, we have developed a culture of

'use it up' -
're-use it' - or

're-purpose it'.

And we are finding pleasure and a good deal of satisfaction in 'thrifted' clothing and using recycled fabrics and fibers in our crafts and art.  As well, in our household goods.

Recently, I posted about one of my favorite quilts that I made almost entirely from thrifted fabrics.  That stash of fabric came from the yard sale of an elderly woman who was giving up her life-long hobby/craft. The fabric represented several decades of quilts starting with the 1930s and on throught the 1970s and 80s.



Larry stopped at this woman's yard sale and bought her entire lot of fabric.  As I remember it was several boxes full.  From it, I made a queen sized bed quilt and some hexagon quilts with applique embellishments from the scraps I created by using her scraps.

But the post I mentioned above was written by Eva who lives in Germany and whose life-experience is different from ours.  She remembers the post-war shortages for necessary items like clothing and heating materials that made life extremely difficult.  That shortage of material goods has created an aversion to anything 'used' or 'recycled'.  The memories are still too close for Germans to find interest in this new wave of 'making do'.

Thank you, Eva, for giving us a more worldly view and opening our eyes to a different cultural experience.

4 comments:

AeFondKis said...

Hi Pat, I read Eva's post yesterday and was suprised to find the connotations associated with
recycled. But I do know a few people who were brought up with hand me downs and won't wear anything unless brand new...it's legacy has lasting effects for some.
Thought provoking post!
Linda

Gunnels blog said...

Hello Pat! Thanks for you lovely comments in my blog! Yes, it´s very fun to altered old envelopes with embrodiery, try it :-)
I love your quilt! I think quilts with different fabics, old and new are most beautiful. And to re-use I think it is the most right thing to do!
Have a nice wekeend!

Deb G said...

I thought that was a very interesting view point that Eva shared too. I do believe we need to be thoughtful about new purchases and stopped stashing new fabric years ago. Every culture has slightly different issues to work through as we move towards sustainability.

Eva said...

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts. I have to say that I myself did not experience the worst times, I was born in 1949. But my early childhood was still influenced by this attitude and habits: To live in poverty and to deserve it -- at least my family understood that. And they kept talking about it, so it was very present to me.
My parents-in-law probably don't understand my interest in recycling. They would not plant veggies in their garden, only flowers. Those times are over, thank God!

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