GiveWrap in the Wild

October 21, 2014

Since our first GiveWrap event, last August, GiveWraps have been gently yet inexorably transforming the culture of disposable gift wrap into one of reciprocal giving of treasured wrapping cloths.

Made by Aisha

There is another GiveWrap workshop hosted by Needleworks Collective scheduled in Adelaide for November 8. Details are available on the Needleworks Collective site.

The GiveWrap project got a shoutout from Heather Ordover on CraftLit recently…folks just seem get the GiveWrap idea. GiveWraps are given with a gift but not returned to the giver. Instead, they have a life of their own and are given and regiven continually. GiveWraps inspire us to make something that has no monetary value. It is not made for sale. Its value lies in the giving and increases the longer it remains in circulation.

And in the wilds of the interwebs, GiveWraps are appearing.

IMG_20140928_161321This beauty is by Diana from Jacksonville, Alabama, USA.

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This is made by Polly from Cambridge, UK. She is a printmaker.

This is another GiveWrap by Polly, this one overprinted on a lace tablecloth.

Now, Polly has a cousin Katherine who lives in dear old Berwick-upon-Tweed, near Edinburgh.  They decided to collaborate on some GiveWraps. So Katherine used some of Polly’s prints and combined them with other fabrics.

And all wrapped up…

I got to have some lovely email chat with Katherine and she agreed to share the backstory…

Polly is an artist, and does fabric prints, and I’m a knitter, stitcher, spinner…. So my patchwork incorporates Polly’s prints. We’ve never worked together before, so you’ve not only inspired us to make GiveWraps, but to work together. It is a real voyage of pleasurable discovery.

…my GiveWraps are very tied up with my Australian grandmother because they are fabrics deeply associated with her.  She loved to wear flamboyant colours, and wore a lot of batik prints.  When she died (some 30 years ago), I got a lot of these old dresses and remodelled them for myself.  They are nearly worn out now – soft as soft, but tear easily.  So they are perfect for GiveWraps.

When she came to the Uk, she married a rich Leicester businessman, and she started to have glamorous dresses made by a dressmaker.  My acquisitive grandmother (a trait I’ve clearly inherited) begged all the dressmaker’s scraps from other clients’ dresses, so lots of beautiful silks and satins came our way too.  It is the mixture of the batiks and silks that feature in my GiveWraps.  The emotional stories behind fabrics and old re-used clothes are so deeply important.

You can see more from Polly and Katherine on Intagram #givewrap or in the Needleworks Collective gallery. Their story encapsulates the vision we had for the GiveWrap project and the layers of meanings that become invested in the cloths. I feel like each GiveWrap needs a wee blurb attached so that everyone can know its story.

So why don’t you make one? The instructions are here. Send us pics and stories…we just love them.