Stitch by Stitch

No time for an exotic vacation? Let the world come to you: World Threads II, Preserving Fiber Traditions, which opened a week ago at the TACtile Textile Arts Center, features an amazingly diverse marketplace of traditional fair-trade textiles, basketry and beadwork from around the globe — covering double the territory of last year’s inaugural show and sale.

The exhibit includes displays of one-of-a-kind items from private collections that are not for sale. But in the back room, you’ll find a patchwork of color and functionality in a folk-art market ambience: wrapped raffia giraffes from Madagascar, shawls from Namibia, Indian silk scarves, handmade plant-dyed baskets from Africa and stunning ralli quilts appliquéd and embroidered by nomadic Pakistani womenare just a few of the items for sale.

Every item purchased not only supports Third World women, but also gives dignity to their work. “It’s the reason TACtile exists in the first place: to preserve fiber arts in the world,” says spokeswoman Carol Naff. “If artisans can’t make money selling their crafts, those traditions will die out.”

Starting today and continuing Saturdays through May 22, TACtile will also host presentations by some of the fair-trade nonprofits represented in the show. Silks of Laos, Eternal Threads and Outreach Uganda introduce their projects and wares at around 11:30 a.m. today; other groups will have their turn in the coming weeks. World Threads II will stay on view through May 28 at TACtile, 7777 East Hampden Avenue, in Tamarac Square; admission is free, and hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit or call 720-524-8886.
April 24-May 28, 2010

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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