Haptic & Hue publishes its own articles on textiles, and the crafts that lie behind their creation. It also posts guest blogs from contributors with specialist knowledge. This is the place to find out more about textiles and the skills that interest you.

Homespun Army – The Radical Power of a Needle and Thread

Jo Andrews


Britain has been a quiet place these past weeks: no planes, no pubs, few trains, and no traffic, except for the sad howl of ambulances. But if you listened carefully you might just have been able to catch the whirr of sewing machines in households across the country. It’s the sound of a small homespun cavalry coming to the aid of the NHS and other frontline workers.


Independent of governments, voluntary organisations or management structures, thousands of women and men in lockdown have hauled out their machines from under dust covers, found their cutting scissors and set to work to produce scrubs, laundry bags, masks and gowns for care and health workers to protect them and their patients. This has been the real Great British Sewing Bee of 2020.

Comfort in a Time of Need: The Power of Fabric

Jo Andrews


A father stands at the top of the stairs, a family is preparing to go out. By the door the mother is putting on the baby’s coat and shoes. The father suddenly yells: ‘Rugga hunt!” and the other three children dive around the house searching for a bedraggled piece of worn out cotton, which might be anywhere. They can’t leave home without it, all know the consequences of trying to do this.


As Long As a Piece of String

Jo Andrews


When anyone sees me weaving at a handloom they ask the same questions: how long does it take, and why do you do it? I guess everyone who works with their hands at something that a machine could do faster or ‘better’ gets asked the same thing, and the answer isn’t simple. I am a handweaver for many reasons, it shapes a flow in my life, thread by thread, I bring order out of the chaos of yarn and, if it is a successful piece of work, it delivers something useful that pleases the hand to touch and the eye to see.