Stitching together: participatory textile making as an emerging methodological approach to research

Shercliff, E. and Holroyd, A.T. ORCID: 0000-0003-3403-3516, 2020. Stitching together: participatory textile making as an emerging methodological approach to research. Journal of Arts and Communities, 10 (1-2), pp. 5-18. ISSN 1757-1936

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Abstract

Arising from a recently formed research network, Stitching Together, this article introduces a collection of case studies that critically examine participatory textile making as an emerging methodological approach to research. The twenty-first century resurgence of interest in textile processes such as knitting, sewing and weaving, whether as individual practice or community-based initiative, builds on a long and culturally diverse history of collaborative textile-making activity. This resurgence, combined with the familiarity, accessibility and flexibility of textile practices, has influenced a recent growth in the use of such activities as a means of inquiry within diverse research contexts.

The article considers the ways in which collective textile making projects privilege social encounter as a format for learning skills, creating friendships and consolidating shared interests. It goes on to discuss how researchers are drawing on these characteristics when devising new projects, highlighting the quality of experience afforded by textile making, the diverse forms of data generated and the variety of ways in which these participatory activities can be set up. Recognising that this research approach is far from straightforward, three key methodological themes are then considered: the multifaceted nature of the researcher’s role and the complexities of relationships with participants and other stakeholders; the difficulties that can arise when using such familiar textile processes; and the opportunities, and complexities, of co-producing knowledge with participants through collaborative textile activity.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Arts and Communities
Creators: Shercliff, E. and Holroyd, A.T.
Publisher: Intellect
Date: 1 June 2020
Volume: 10
Number: 1-2
ISSN: 1757-1936
Identifiers:
NumberType
1324672Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Art and Design
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 12 May 2020 11:13
Last Modified: 12 May 2020 11:13
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/39818

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