The Storycloth Database houses information on collections of narrative textiles relating to human rights. Some collections are private, others are owned by organizations and universities. The Database is designed to grow and become a resource for anyone interested in stories made in cloth that portray human struggles—historical and contemporary, personal and universal--and how people use sewing images to convey important events. Story cloths and arpilleras also hold and depict traumatic events. Through sewing these stories, traumas can begin to heal. In addition to the Storycloth Database, interesting and related links and references are included on this website.
(Arpillera (right) in collection of LR Garlock)
What is a storycloth?
An image on cloth that tells a story of an event, a situation, or other happening. It may include words, and may be personal and/or universal in it's image or story.
what are arpilleras?
Specialized story cloths made in Chile, Argentina, Peru, and other Latin American countries. Originally made to document atrocities committed by totalitarian governments against their own people. Pockets on the back of the arpilleras hold a written note about what is happening in the image.
This page is dedicated to collaborative textile work that is connected with human rights. Most of these national and international projects are made of textile contributions by many people whose art becomes a part of something bigger, making powerful statements about important events.
if you know of a collection
Please contact us and if it fits the criteria, we will add it it to the Storycloth Database.