From Wisps

Textile art is as old as time, or at least goes back thousands of years, yet may be your saving grace this summer. A wisp of fluff is all a child needs to get started.

Background: Children from birth often want to hold something, to touch something, be it your finger, a plush toy or a favourite blanket.  It offers a known texture, scent, comfort. As they get older they explore new items by touch, colour, sound, etc.  Play becomes learning. Play merges with art, expression.

Problem scenarios: “I’m  bored”, ” “no more TV/digital for an hour”,  and your budget is not endless trips to fun parks, Tahiti, etc.

Solution: Textile art can come to you rescue. A piece of art work can be reworked endless amount of times or perfected and framed in a few minutes or days.


  • A piece of batting, or corduroy, fabric from a wool coat,  blanket, or carpet.
  • Any combination:  wisp of fibre, fluff (dryer?), thread, yarn, fabric (wholes, shredded, cut, dyed, painted), dried leaves, thin bark, buttons,  feather (duvet), wool cotton ball…
  • Choose fibres that feel lovely to touch.

Textile art can be simple: a cloth, batting with a few cotton balls for sheep and coloured markers to create grass and a sunset, or Textile art can be elaborate: hundreds of embroidery stitches, crewel, woven, macrame, and sold or displayed in a gallery.

Instructions: Start simple, this is meant to be a bit fun this summer.  Lay out the cloth, throw and add to it. A child can take all their bits and pieces and create a new picture as often as they want. New designs can be made from outdoors, treasures under a sofa, a neighbor’s button to a thread from Auntie’s sparkly dress.

There is no big right or wrong. Adding textures on the batting is as interesting as is not adding, thus creating empty space, mood, distance, or size.

Long afternoon? Create a tablecloth tableau with friends, perhaps a zoo, farmyard, or train trip with tracks, lakes, towns. Hare and Friends on Square has 4 wool batting with generic backgrounds ready for you, sky, sea, and 2 landscapes for farms & countryside.

A changing creation can be kept in a basket or box like a puzzle. For a semi permanent art, lay the cloth in a shallow tray/box/crate and a permanent masterpiece can be secured by sewing, fabric glue, weaving and/or frame.

In a world filled with digital buttons, and bright screens, textile art offers an alternative to feel, smell, sense and see colours.    Create a fantasy you can touch.

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