Textile art is something we come into contact with every day, from the clothes we wear to the objects that decorate our home. It is an art that can be beautiful and useful at the same time; one of the oldest forms of art in human civilization. In the beginning, it was focused on functional purposes such as clothing or blankets to keep warm. As time passed, textiles became more elaborate and difficult to produce; everything had to be done by hand, including the collection of fibers from plants or animals and then twisting them to make them into yarn. The invention of machinery like the cotton engine, spinning jenny, and power loom automated the creation of fabrics which made possible its production on a large scale.
Among the popular techniques in textile art are weaving, embroidery, knitting, and crocheting. While many textile artists use traditional techniques when starting their work, others deconstruct them to create innovative and impactful work. With its countless visual possibilities, contemporary textile artists showcase the vast possibilities when dealing with fabric, thread, and yarn. Examples are the use of weaving to create architecture-inspired wall hangings; crochet in thin wire to create sculptures; embroidery on unconventional canvases like tennis rackets; cross-stitches designs into metal objects and so on. However, the original focus of the use of textiles continues to thrive through the fashion world; although many articles of clothing are still made for a purely utilitarian purpose, contemporary designers conceptualize garments as spectacular pieces of fabric art that are put on blank canvassed bodies.
As an example of Fashion as Art in Bolivia, CBAT celebrates the magnificent national costume created for the Bolivia's Miss Universe contestant.
The National Costume competition is a huge part of the Miss Universe competition where the delegates wear their traditional attires reflecting the culture of their countries. Miss Bolivia’s (Lenka Nemer) national costume is titled ‘La Fuerza de Los Andes’, designed and manufactured by Jhesmani Fernandez with the support from the Qhapac Ñan Art company in the city of La Paz with original fabrics, more than eight meters of Kaito weaving, made by the weavers of the town of Huari.
Links with information and video about the typical Bolivian dress:
Photo by Promociones Gloria' from Lost Tiempos online newspaper.
Bolivian Textile Artists
Aida Sanchez: Bolivian Designer, an expert on contemporary fashion with detailed experience in creative direction. She holds a degree from FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in Pattern-making Technology and she is traditionally trained in the fashion industry. Sanchez began her career in New York City. Her creative collaborations are within the fashion industry in New York, Paris, London, and Rome. She is an industry insider and a strong advocate of mentoring students and aspiring designers in Fashion Education focusing on the business of fashion.
Her German-based brand, AIDA SANCHEZ ACCESSORIES has been recognized for creating beautifully crafted and innovative soft accessories since 2000. Her creations have been presented for the past 20 years during the official calendar of Paris fashion weeks and have been available through luxury retail locations such as Neiman Marcus, Lodenfrey, Holt Renfrew, Isetan, and historic department stores across Europe, North America, and South America.
Bringing a unique understanding of the creative and commercial sides of fashion, Sanchez has emerged as one of the leaders of the global fashion industry.
For more information about Aida Sanchez, please visit Aida-Sanchez-webpage
Sandra de Berducci: New media artist, weaver, specialist in Andean Textile Techniques and researcher from Bolivia. For more information about her and her work, please visit our New Media Art page - Sandra Berduccy
Museums & Exhibitions