Behind the scenes at the Home Front

In the lead up to the next Costume and Textile Association of New Zealand Symposium, I recall this years weekend of fun, including some photos of a behind the scenes tour attendees were lucky to participate in…

Muvany Textiles unpacking Home Front Symposium

Cracking into boxes, and boxes, and boxes of stunningly beautiful textiles from the Mulvany Collection. The collection includes rolls of thread for weaving and a wide range of woven home textiles. Some items retained their original tags, others had be obviously well loved and used and surprisingly well preserved.

You can read part of their story here, on Te Ara.

Muvany Textiles unpacking2 Home Front Symposium

What a treat!

Muvany Textiles rolls of fibre detail Home Front Symposium

It was incredible to see the colours, so vibrant and seductive, after so many years, we’re talking almost 100 years!

Muvany Textiles detail Home Front Symposium

Table runners, and other tableware.

Muvany Textiles on the table Home Front Symposium

These photos don’t really do them justice! Some of the designs were far ahead in design and colour use, almost op art in their appearance.

Muvany Textiles detail2 Home Front Symposium

I came across the Costume and Textile Association of New Zealand earlier this year, I was very excited I attended my first symposium, this year’s theme was Home Front – you can read the report on the blog, Dressaddress.

Here is a little more on the theme as described on the blog:

‘The Home Front’ came into use during World War One as an informal term for the civilian population of a nation at war serving as an active support system for their armed forces. Although this term generally refers to the supply and production of war equipment, it also encompasses the provision of warm clothing and food parcels sent by women to their men folk at the front, and the efforts of a local population depleted by man power to keep the nation supplied with essential goods and food stuffs.

During war time and other crises, an attitude of ‘Making Do’ prevailed to counter shortages of every-day essentials, relying on practices of making, mending, thriftiness, re-use and recycling in the domestic realm, often with great attention given to individual style and design.

Here are more photos, behind the scenes in the Maori Textiles Collection…

Maori collection kahu kiwi Home Front Symposium

Some very special textiles here.

Maori collection Home Front Symposium

Kete packed in boxes, and cloaks! Drawers and drawers of them!

Maori collection cloak in the drawer Home Front Symposium

Looking into textiles that related to the Local Home Front War Effort, we spent some time with this (incredible!) embroidered New Zealand Flag:

Our Soldiers Flag Home Front Symposium

Full a report on the symposium line up, presenters and topics around the theme, Home Front, have a look at the Costume and Textile Association website.

As for the next Symposium, I cannot wait! It is in Dunedin, from the 24th to the 25th of April and I will be there! The theme is Materiality and the Body, more details are on the CTANZ website….

Special thank you to the Costume and Textile Association of New Zealand for being so welcoming and generous, and to Damian Skinner, Rose Young, Nigel Borell, Chanel Clarke, staff at the Auckland War Memorial Museum who gave permission for publishing photos from their respective collections.

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