Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What's your label?

Thanks to Hazel Terry over at Fashion Link for making me aware of this great project called "Changing Clothes" by Leafcutter Designs.
From the Leafcutter website: "What truly is a shirt? Fiber molecules? Instant warmth and comfort? Or perhaps part of a complex system of global trade, agricultural politics, farming traditions, and the detailed labor of a young person's hands on the other side of the world? Can the truth of a shirt really fit into a space as small as your closet?"
On the website is a "tag exchange" program where you send them one of the tags from a garment and they send you back one of these as a replacement!

Leafcutter's care label does make you think about what is behind the very fibres that make up clothes. And as any crafter knows, a lot of work goes into making a garment.

My mum used to have labels which said "made with love". Which I'm sure the garments she made were. As a maker and a crafter, it got me thinking about what my label would say? To tell the full story?

For our re-sew-cool craft kits I think it should say something like this:

"These kits are full of recycled goodness. The sister outlaws hot wash beautiful vintage but often damaged knits, transforming them to flexible and fun felt; giving them a new lease on life. Sometimes they get a bath in some dye. 
The jumpers are carefully cut into measured squares (but nothing is discarded - we even recycle the seams!). The sister outlaws chat and drink tea while they lay out the selections of colours and trims to make each project as lovely as possible. They laugh and sometimes they get muddled up. Then they sort it out again. The children play at their feet in the button tins or outside where they can be watched from the window. Great care goes into each little package so this little project can be laid out for you to make with minimal fuss. Enjoy stitching and do so with joy because we packed it just for you!"

For my Sweet By and By jewellery I think my label would say something like:
"This necklace was hand crafted by someone who loves creating and making and comes from a long tradition crafting. Her skills have been passed down to her from her matriarchal ancestors. The crocheting was done with several interruptions from small children, but know that each chain and treble and double treble helped keep this person sane and creatively happy."

Leafcutter designs have some really interesting projects - I love subversive spinning!  And the lovely idea of the merit badges. 
I have been saving labels from the jumpers we recycle. This is a small portion of them. Some are lovely little art works in themselves. And placing them together creates a kind of crazy poetry. I've had a few ideas lately for what I'm going to do with these. Stay tuned!
What would your craft label say? What story should it tell? How do you want your craft worn/cared for? What goes into each stitch?


  1. Love that you use every single piece of the jumpers that you recycle. Very cool. Intrigued to see what you'll do with the labels! How fun are the other labels - I'd totally love to find that on my garment! Particularly, line dry and mend when torn.

    1. Yes I love that too! You know we were brought up to mend - darn socks, turn cuffs and collars. Mum did it out of common sense and poverty and out of respect for the garment. So much sustainability is about common sense and respect.

  2. Well, you know I'm not a crafter, so no label, but I can't wait to see what you do with the jumper labels!

  3. What an interresting post this is about the labels. I like the idea. I'm excited about seeing what you do with all of your "saved labels." Onward we go with Blogtoberfest!

  4. I love this line in particular 'The crocheting was done with several interruptions from small children' :D oh how I know that feeling, and then in my case 'this drawing was then copied and made much better by my small child.'
    Best wishes Hazel
    Oh! and now I think of you as Dolly Parton

  5. I love your label collection - but I really love the leafcutter ones -- some people have great ideas!