I visited the Lace museum yesterday for the exhibit Schitterend geplooied. It was very interesting – definitely worth a visit. Although there was much to see, especially in regards to the amazing handwork of the Chinese Miao and Dong people, I found myself most fascinated by the basic things right here in Hollandlong before machinery. I say this, because the museum has a rondleiding to explain all the equipment that produces lace products. But I was most curious watching the Dutch video explaining how flax was grown, harvested and turned into linen. What an amazing long, labour intensive process, and it happened here. I don’t need to eroticise another culture. I can be quite impressed with this one!
As someone who has grown up in the U.S., and lived my whole life in the Northern hemisphere, I have no clue how things are made from scratch. I grew up eating spinach from a box out of the freezer. I never had a garden. I had no idea how things grew…but slowly as I grow older I am learning to appreciate slowing down, and learning how things were made… before technology. But of course, I have the privilege of romanticizing this with Western eyes. Looking back at a simpler life but knowing it wasn’t simpler, only harder. And for some people, in some countries, it remains hard…but then again, if you are living the culture, perhaps it doesn’t feel hard, it just is. Yet, I know for some it is hard and I have the luxury of just paying for the things I want.
Anyway, a year ago, I bought some antique linen. Handmade linen. It fascinated me, so I was so happy to watch this video about the process of making the linen that I now own. As I grow older, I learn to slow down, enjoy the simpler things in life, and I learn to make, dye and create my own things starting from their source. I’ll be out picking up windfall for dying fabrics soon. Anyone want to join me?