afghanistan

I went to the Bata Shoe Museum this week. They had an exhibit on socks.

Northern Afghanistan, late 19th century
There is so much lovely hand embroidery on these leather socks. They were worn indoors as soft shoes and were covered with shoes when out-of-doors, hence making them socks.

My art piece below was made incorporating a hand embroidered square made by Farida from  Laghmani, Afghanistan, a farming village north of Kabul. It is the 8 cm square on the far right.

Farida's Garden, detail, 15 inches x 10 inches

By selling their embroidery work, the women contribute substantially to the maintenance of their family. In 2008, there were more than 200 embroiderers creating these squares. 

The DAI (Deutsch-Afghanische Initiative) started the idea of buying these squares and selling them in Europe to be integrated into textile work. Fourteen European countries recently participated in a DAI international project. The participants' textile works were voted on by the countries' public. The top pieces from each participating country were chosen to be part of a big exhibit of 220 pieces. 

My piece was one of 12 selected to represent Italy. It has been touring Europe for the last year and will be part of a smaller selection of 100 pieces extracted from the large exhibit to be seen during Verona Tessile, March 8 to 13, 2011.