Fibrostos and Fibristas, text and textiles are more part of our art than we realize. We weave a tale, spin a yarn, lose the thread, hope our bones knit when broken, embroider the truth, tie up loose ends, get stitches for wounds, or in our sides from laughing and hope with every fibre of our being.\u00a0 And every time we talk or write about what we do, we are involving text, implicit or explicit.\r\nText: late Middle English from Old Northern French texte from Latin textus 'tissue, literary style' (in medieval Latin, 'Gospel'), from text- 'woven', from the verb texere (Oxford Dictionary)\r\nText, texture and textile all come from the verb texere which means 'to weave'.\r\n Lisa Porch explores ways in which contemporary stitch can be used to enhance surface decoration .\r\n\r\nLisa Porch: "Repetition of image and text, particularly in the form of scriptural promises reflects the pattern and process of grieving and the transition from suffering and despair to hope."\r\n\r\nNarrative can be poetry, prose or pictorial.\u00a0\u00a0 We illustrate some of our personal experiences in paper and fabric collage (most often) including words, or embroider to emphasize popular sayings, commemorate historical or familial events and personal views. Text and textiles have a long history in combination with propaganda, chronicle and lineage.\r\n\r\nSusan Lenz often incorporates text into her art, from the Decision Portraits and the Grave Rubbings series to new works such as the "I Do\/I Don't" installation:\r\n\r\nSusan Lenz: "Memory" miniature grave rubbing artquilt\r\n\r\nSusan Lenz - wedding veils in process\r\n\r\nJessica Rankin combines the word with sheer materials:\u00a0 "The text assumes an abstract quality, executed in capital letters that call to mind the embroidered works of Alighiero Boetti. Taking the form of random thought patterns, these strings of words slip into phrases that avoid narrative structure from one to the other" (quote from White Cube)\r\n\r\nJessica Rankin - "Nocturne"\r\n\r\nJessica uses text as imagery, rather than as\u00a0 pure text: movement and focus are emphasized.\r\n\r\nJessica Rankin\r\n\r\nRosalind Wyatt uses text extensively in her work, with much passion and clarity:\r\n\r\nRosalind Wyatt - "Tuke"\r\n\r\nFor the fascinating story and concept behind "Tuke" visit her website.\r\n\r\nRosalind Wyatt - "Tuke" detail"\r\n\r\nUsing text in your Textile art doesn't mean it always has to be legible or even a recognized language. Your lexicon could include personal symbols, invented writing or altered fonts. It doesn't have to be directly related to the subject, can be sub text or clarification depending on the concept and intent.\r\n\r\nArlee Barr - "ghost writing" style\r\n\r\nUse your own poetry and stories:\r\n\r\nArlee Barr - legible original poetry\r\n\r\nYou might find you are able to articulate ideas and then translate into cloth and thread as well. Pick a favourite poem, though I recommend you try originality because of copyright issues. Try mirror imaging text, distortion, different stitches to emphasize each letter, word or mood they convey to you.\r\n\r\nArlee Barr - "Tongue and Soul are One"\r\n\r\nYou can free hand it, write it first on the fabric: tip make the writing slightly larger than normal, at least in spacing, or letters may become too squished to be legible--which can work too! Use preprogrammed or free motion on the machine, applique it, discharge it--no technique can't be used for text *and* imagery. Put it on paper, plastic, fabric and metal. Cut it up, destroy it, add it. No one will ever be able to duplicate it!\r\n\r\n(Last 3 images are details of my own work.)\r\n\r\n~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\r\n\r\nArlee Barr is a Canadian artist, working primarily with textiles. She describes herself as curious, eccentric and just a little opinionated.\u00a0 Surrealist in thought, Fauvist at heart, Arlee likes the eclectic, explorative and absurd. Sprinkled around the interwebs, she can be found hanging around\u00a0her fantastic blog.