⟨ Slow Stitch ⟩

Be A SLOW STiTCH NOMAD

Words / Toby Crispy
Illustration / Toby Crispy
Translation / Fanny Chan

病毒問:「什麼是家?」

你的答案應該不會是一個充斥著物質的空間吧?

家,可以是簡單如一種安全平靜的感覺。

 「你真正的家就在這裡,就在此刻,

沒有時間、空間、國籍或種族的界限。

你真正的家不是抽象的意念,而是一種你可以觸摸和活在當下的東西。」一行禪師說。

 曾經我們的祖先四處為家,日出而作,日落團圓家中,在月光下席地而坐,一邊縫補一邊閒聊,是日常。

今天我們在家工作,在郊野公園吃飯,但我們的雲端上另有無際的網絡,讓我們拿著智能電話或手提電腦,已能隨時隨地找到同路的遊牧族群,圍爐做喜歡做的事。

「過去把我們連結起來,未來帶領我們前進。」

Martin Margiela這一句話令我一直難忘;從祖先的遊牧生活走到今天的「遊牧主義」(Nomadism),我們將會由原始浪人進化成未來主義的思想旅行者,為著不變的生活本質,以不同的方式持續下去。

在速食文化的荼毒下,人們誤會了所有東西的出現都不需過程,而且是輕而易舉的,所以習慣問如何做這如何做那,以為在網絡上看上三兩分鐘的示範、上數小時的工作坊,便能上手;當做起來時,才發現所有技術都是易學難精,並需要時間和耐性來鍊成的,都是值得尊重的。可惜一代花上大半世的時間來累積經驗的技師們,都在被扭曲了的價值觀下,漸漸地消逝着。

世界權威時尚趨勢專家Lidewij Edelkoort,天天以不同方式宣揚「少才是更多」(Doing Less is More)的理念,她深信「人手製造才是未來」(Handmade is the Future),這顯然是物極必反的趨勢。

The virus asks “What is home?”

Your answer is not a space full of material, is it?

Home can be as simple as feeling safe and peaceful. 

“Your true home is in the here and the now.

It is not limited by time, space, nationality, or race. Your true home is not an abstract idea.

It is something you can touch and live in every moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Our ancestors roamed everywhere. They started working with the sunrise, and retreated to rest with sunset. Sitting on the ground, sewing, and chatting under the moonlight was nothing but normal. 

Now that we work from home, eat in country parks, and, with the internet, we can even connect with our fellow nomads via our smartphones or laptops; we can gather anytime and anywhere to do whatever we like.

“The past bonds us, the future leads us.”

These words from Martin Margiela are imprinted on my mind. In the course of time, humans evolved from genuine nomad to futuristic nomad. We no longer live that primitive way of life that our ancestors once lived. Though the essence of life remains unchanged, Nomadism is steering into a brand new direction. 

Being brain-washed by the fast fashion culture, people tend to have the misconception that everything comes easy and conveniently. They believe they can master a skill simply by watching a two to three minute online tutorial, or attending a few hours of a workshop. Of course, it is easy to learn a skill, but it takes time and patience to master it. Being able to master a skill is definitely worthy of respect, it is thus a shame to witness a whole generation of master craftspeople who have spent most of their lives refining their skills gradually disappear.

Lidewij Edelkoort, the world’s most famous trend forecaster, deeply embraces the idea of “Doing Less is More” and firmly believes that “Handmade is the Future.”

Slow Stitch Exercise

2020年,眼前霧茫茫,卻仿彿在提供最合適的時機,叫人們停下來,回顧原點,重拾過去的生活智慧。我特別精選了12種源於世界各地最基本和常用的縫補手法,以文字、插畫及錄像作解說和示範,在不受時空限制的線上,教大家以簡單的一根針、一扎線和一把剪刀,重塑破損或過時了的衣物,感受減法生活的療癒。

請相信我們的關節和神經的記憶力,不要在第一、二次便放棄,做上五次後就一定會自自然然熟練起來。

「不同於機器縫紉,當你感到失控是因為機器在作主導,而手工縫紉就是讓你拿回主導權。握著金屬針在手指之間,感受於布料之間穿梭的感覺,全神貫注於縫線的位置,真的會讓你的心靈慢下來,進入冥想或正念的狀態。」BBC TWO的真人實境節目《The Great British Sewing Bee》(大英縫紉蜜蜂)的製作人及主腦Claire-Louise Hardie,她寫的文章〈The art and craft of mindful mending〉(正念縫補的藝術和工藝)裡這樣地提醒著我們。

Year 2020 is a turbulent year. The future is as blurry as the present. Despite that, it seems to be the best time for us to stop, look back, and embrace once again the wisdom we learnt from the past. I have specially selected 12 of the most basic and commonly used stitching methods from all over the world, and I will explain and demonstrate how they work with the aid of text, illustrations and videos. On the internet where there is no time and space constraint, I will teach you how to use a needle, thread and a pair of scissors to upcycle damaged or outdated clothing, and feel the healing power of living a simple life. 

Please have faith in your joints and nerves, they can “remember” experiences and acts. Don’t give up on the first or even second try. After doing it five times, you will naturally become proficient. 

“Unlike sewing by machine, when you can feel out of control as it’s the machine in charge, hand sewing puts you back in charge. The connection between the physical sensation of holding a metal needle between your fingers, weaving it in and out of the cloth combined with focusing intently on where you place the stitches really makes your mind slow down, entering a meditative or mindful state.” The sewing producer and mastermind for BBC TWO series The Great British Sewing Bee, Claire-Louise Hardie, reminded us in her article for ‘The art and craft of mindful mending’.

被困在家中只是一種想像,不如走出那扇無形的大門,在平原上築起帳篷,拿起針線,享受在曾經心動(或衝動)的衣物上縫上自己的個性。我們不需要每年1000億的新衣物,因為只有能讓人怦然心動的才值得生產和保留,或者這就是未來設計師與消費者之間的互動創作模式。

來成為「慢針黹部落」的牧民,隨時隨地鑽進心中的家,在修繕衣物中尋回平靜。

回顧我們的祖先是如何走到這裡,

重新學習過去所教授我們的技能,

保存我們要傳承到未來的東西。 

慢下來,隨時間縫補吧!

雖然病毒分隔了我們,我們卻用針線連繫起來。

We are living under the delusion that we are trapped at home. How about we step outside that invisible door, set up a tent on the grass plain, pick up the needle and thread, and start sewing your own personality on the clothes that once captured your heart. We don’t need 100 billion new clothes every year, because only those that thrill people are worthy of production and retention. Maybe this is the interactive creative mode between designers and consumers in the future. 

Be a SLOW STiTCH NOMAD, set up your home anytime anywhere and find peace through remaking your preloved clothing.

RECALL how our ancestors got here,

RELEARN the skills they taught us and

RESERVE what we shall pass to the future.

Slow down and stitch through time.

A VIRUS DIVIDES US, A NEEDLE STiTCHES US TOGETHER.

這裡還有更多關於「慢時尚」的書本和文章,希望大家在此時此刻,盡情享受慢的療癒。

Click here to read more books and articles related to slow fashion, I hope you will enjoy the healing of slow living at this moment.