The building of a library. A textile library. A blue textile library.
Quite possibly the first seedling is passion: cloth. Cloth and all of its mysteries, how and where was it made? For what reason? How indispensable was its role in a human’s life?
Next, a verb. Collecting. Gathering, amassing, sometimes hoarding. But not random hoarding. Hoarding with a purpose.
After a time there exists an archive, a treasury, a vault. A secret place glittering with correlated information.
Not to be forgotten is the essential notion of scope. Parameters. Matter which is linked by its relatedness. Scope is a reason for being. Scope is a means to understanding.
BLUE: TATTER Textile Library is a deep blue physical space, home to thousands of volumes of printed materials, catalogued and shelved alongside hundreds of blue, textile-related objects. Stirring the tactile within us, the objects converse with the books, serving to illustrate their pages, manifesting the stories and techniques within.
Immersing oneself in a library is akin to the alchemical process of the dye bath; as undyed hemp might descend irreversibly into the blackest ink of the indigo vat, so may a library transform a person – forever altering the direction of thought, and therefore, the future.
I am part maker, part collector, part legacy torch-bearer. I was raised to value cloth and the innovation and human labor behind it. In my childhood, specific fabrics or garments personified unforgettable moments, where I remembered not what was said, but rather, what I was wrapped in. Not so much the location of the happening as how its cloth interior was arranged. The authors on my shelves are each themselves a library – a life spent gathering, editing, and finally presenting information.
And so I give you this library. This blatantly blue room. A product of my collecting, my connecting, my love of blue, and my memory.
Jordana Munk Martin
is the founder of TATTER and its BLUE Library.
Want to have a conversation about cloth? Contact her at Jordana@tatter.org