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There are many facets to weaving cloth, one being at what point a weaving is considered finished. I think that comes when someone responds strongly enough to want it for their own. The moment a choice is made for adornment, comfort, and warmth from the chill, one begins the relationship that hopefully becomes a well spent life for both.
More than 25 years ago I wove with a brightly hued variegated cotton yarn and a mixture of shiny boucle’ rayon yarns. I loved these yarns, and never tired watching the colors migrate while weaving. The fabric was perfect for a Kimono styled jacket garment. It folded around the body and was comfortable to wear. I have no memory of the person who bought the Kimono.
The Kimono made a surprising second appearance when I found it in my local Goodwill Store. I caught my breath before I recognized my own work. I thought, “I have been weaving long enough to see my work make its way to the Goodwill Store.” (And it was a steal.) This was the full circle moment. The only indicator it had belonged to someone was a name marked over the label. It had lived an easy and gentle existence.
I silently blessed the person that would choose this Kimono and left the store full of heart and walking on air. That is, until I spoke with my friend, Marian, about this discovery. She wanted to see it. She thought I should have bought it. Wait. No, she wanted that Kimono.
Back to the Goodwill Store, it was no longer hanging among the jackets. Explaining to the store workers that I had woven the missing Kimono, we launched a whole store search looking for it. Thankfully it was found, on the floor crumpled and buried among toys and far from the hanging clothes area. A victory dance broke out at the checkout lane. We knew a good thing had just happened.
Marian wore the rescued Kimono. Being rescued gave more pleasure to the wearer. I often heard how the Kimono had been perfect for one wearing occasion or another. I was glad at every telling. We often celebrated the Kimono being rescued.
Five years ago Bastrop burned. Properties were burnt and people’s lives were destroyed. Marian heard about a friend of her cousin’s losing several horses and her home. The devastation of the fire was overwhelming. Wanting to provide comfort after such a loss, Marian gave her beloved Kimono to be passed along. It was loose fitting, soft, provided warmth, was still beautiful, a very stylish Linus’ blanket to wear.
This is the point the story belongs to another. At the same time it stays behind to share. Each garment woven at the loom is reinforced with the sense of adventure that will be a new story once a purchase is made. This Kimono jacket was my first experience to follow it through its varied life. I am so fortunate to have been part of the Kimono jacket’s journey and lucky to have shopped at Goodwill to reconnect with my very nicely woven Kimono.
(Handwoven fabrics and garments in article by Patricia Day)