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Haptic & Hue

May 20, 2021

How cloth helps us grieve.


Sorrow is a universal human experience – whether it’s for a loved family member, for a way of life that once was, or for events that engulf nations and sweep away millions.


The episode looks at how textiles are an essential part of the process of grieving, and how they bring us comfort and help us deal with deeply felt emotions. It looks at the special place cloth plays in mourning a much-loved father, the loss of a child or partner in political repression, or how they can help us commemorate those who were victims of appalling events like the Holocaust.


The issues this episode deals with are not easy, but in one form or another, sorrowing is something all of us will do in our lives, especially as we come out of a pandemic that has claimed millions around the world.


With thanks in this episode to Caren Garfen, whose stitched work on the Holocaust is enormously powerful, to Deborah Stockdale at the Centre for Conflict Textiles in Northern Ireland and to Judith Staley of Sew Over 50 for sharing the memory aprons, she made to remember her Dad.


If you go to Haptic and Hue’s website at, you will find a full transcript of this podcast, and pictures of some of the work that is explored in this episode. You can also sign up there to get these podcasts directly in your inbox, and to have a chance to win some of the textile-related gifts I give away with each episode.


The books that I found useful for this series can be found at which is a small independent shop in Dorset specialising in Nature and Story.