Tales of Textiles: Series 1

Episode #7: Majesty and Mannequins

Jo Andrews


Catch her out of the corner of your eye as she skitters across the stage of history. She has seen revolutions, war, disaster, pandemics, peace and joy, and survived it all. She is probably 3,500 years old, maybe more. She is called Pandora.

This episode looks at the unseen role miniature mannequins, or Pandora figures, have played in diplomacy, war, royalty, communications, and marketing, down the centuries from the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, through the Second World War, until today. Not bad to have been in fashion for several thousand years.

Episode #6: Making Men

Jo Andrews


Sewing, mending, knitting and all the fibre skills are seen as ‘Women’s Work’ in Western cultures. Why is this? We hear from men who were taught to sew and knit in wartime, in prison or in isolation, and we talk to men who freely choose to stitch, knit and spin as a hobby. What are the barriers men face if they take up these skills and what does the world lose if they don’t? This episode looks not just at the gender divide of the West but also thinks about the fabric traditions of Africa where men are deeply involved in textile production.

Episode #5: Yarn Yarn Yarn

Jo Andrews


This episode tells the story of the top designer of fabrics to the French fashion industry. It looks at the way in which a modern supplier, competing in a global market, still uses ancient weaving technology with handweavers working on table looms to produce thousands of fresh designs every year.

Episode #4: Stitches in Time

Jo Andrews


The Haute Couture embroiderers of Paris are amongst Europe’s most celebrated and skilled needlewomen. This episode looks at the artisans who sit behind the seams of the garments we see on the catwalks and in the fashion magazines. It tracks the history of haute couture and thinks about how it is changing in response to modern tastes and trends.

Episode #3: A Weaver’s Tale

Jo Andrews


What does it mean to earn your living as a maker? Can you feed yourself? This episode looks at the renowned hand-weaver, Janet Phillips, who has done just that for more than 50 years. It celebrates her half-century at the loom and asks what it takes to achieve this.

Episode #2: Material Women

Jo Andrews


The story of the elegant, crisp and artistic textile designs that burst upon the world in the 1950s. It looks at the women who created the Mid-Century Modern fabrics and in doing so became part of the first cohort of women to dominate any field of design. It thinks about how these fabrics transcended their function and became symbols of peace and better times.


Episode #1: Colour is Mine

Jo Andrews


Britain’s first black designer of international standing was a magician of colour. The Queen wore her dress fabrics, cruise liners sailed with her murals on their walls and millions of homes used her designs, but few can remember her name. Find out who she was and why she matters.

Episode #0: Introduction to Series One

Jo Andrews


History is full of the sound of spindles, the clatter of mills and the reek of dye baths as the knowledge of how to make beautiful fabrics has been gathered around the world. This episode introduces Haptic and Hue’s first series of podcasts and starts to uncover some of the buried tales of textiles.

Images from Haptic and Hue’s first podcast series – Tales of Textiles


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