Nadav Spiegelman


Peggy Orenstein
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The work is uniquely physical,” she writes, in what will turn out to be a massive understatement
When the Civil War disrupted imports from the United States, the Crown systematically destroyed India’s robust, local industry and reshaped it to serve Brittania: sabotaging spinners and weavers and pressuring farmers into replacing food crops with cotton
Making can be a way to resist a disposable culture, to connect to basic processes in a world where we’ve lost such awareness, a world that, too often, reduces us to either workers or consumers
Overall, it’s fair to say, the fashion industry is an ecological fiasco, responsible for more greenhouse gases than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. Nor can we donate our way out of our overconsumption. Nearly half of what we give to Goodwill and the like ends up as someone else’s problem. Americans alone are responsible for over 1.58 billion pounds of secondhand clothing that is dumped on countries such as Pakistan, Kenya, Angola, and Ghana (where it’s referred to as “dead white man’s clothes”). There, it undermines local textile industries, costing livelihoods, or ends up as landfill: mountains and mountains of plastic cloth
Purple was, basically, the black of the ancient world, the power color connoting wealth and privilege, or proximity to it. Cleopatra traveled on a barge festooned with purple sails to seduce Mark Antony. Things worked out less favorably for her grandson, whom Caligula (his first cousin) had executed for rocking an opulent purple cloak in the arena, detracting attention from the emperor himself. The amount of the color the ancients could wear was strictly regulated by something called sumptuary laws and meted out by rank. At various times, priests, generals, politicians, courtesans, and actors all had carefully delineated levels of access to it, but it was forbidden to most commoners on penalty of—yup—death. Centuries later, in England, Queen Elizabeth I restricted purple to close relatives of the royal family, though violation of the edict only incurred a fine
Clothing production, especially dyeing and finishing, is, all by itself, responsible for a fifth of the world’s industrial water pollution
if anything, knitting has become more radical in recent years. Maybe that’s, in part, because making something with your own hands is now almost by definition political—knitting pushes back against the dehumanization of technology and consumer culture—and that may affect who is drawn to the craft
English style, which involves holding the yarn in your right hand and “throwing” it over the needle to create a stitch. It became dominant in the U.S. during World War II (when, I’m assuming, based on her age, my mom learned) because Continental style, the quicker, more sensible way to knit, had originated in Germany