Remote Stitching Collective

Hello and huge thanks for thinking about joining the #VeiledVoices2020 remote stitching collective.

Veiled Voices 2020 was built upon a desire to start a conversation, to bring women together across the UK to explore perceptions of Hijab wearing in Britain with the aim of creating understanding and friendship. (It also forms the basis of my Master’s thesis exploring the history of embroidery as women’s voice and its ability to be used to address difficult conversations and societal issues.)

The collaborative embroidery, you could help to create, will become a visual representation of the thoughts, ideas and questions of the growing community of women who take part, despite their differences, or maybe because of them, to educate, learn, support and be a force for good. Once it is completed it will go on a tour to various locations and be used to generate yet more conversations and visually convey the potential of community, despite difference. Over the coming months, due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK, this notion of building a community is going to be challenged, physically meeting with women to embroider together has become temporarily impossible, and that is why I have begun this remote stitching collective.

You do not need to be experienced in embroidery, straight stitch or back stitch are simple and can create beautiful effects, if you are feeling more adventurous maybe a chain stitch, whatever you feel comfortable with. To start you need to think of a word or short sentence that encapsulates what the hijab, the Muslim head scarf, means to you. If you wear the headscarf what does it symbolise and how does it make you feel? If you don’t wear one, what do you think when you see women wearing the hijab? Be honest! This embroidery will only have genuine impact if we voice the words the hijab symbolises to you.

Then you need to create your design – see some of the previous participants contributions for inspiration below. From experience within the workshops, my advice is to keep the design simple, it needs to be no larger than 10cm/10cm. Then stitch your design onto a piece of fabric of your choice, ideally within the colour palette of red, pink, purple, green, black or yellow.

Once you have finished your contribution, you can mail your contribution directly to me (email me for my postal address). I will then attach each one to the veil. If you have specific ideas about the outline shape please pre-cut so that I can attach as per your wishes. Below is an example of a piece already attached to the veil which has prompted further response from a later participant. A conversation in embroidery!

Keep up to date with all the contributions here on the blog, where I will regularly post pictures of the projects progress. Or you can follow veiled_voices_2020 on Instagram for weekly updates of submissions and progress.

I am so grateful and excited that you are thinking of taking part in this evolving project, I do hope you will join us. It’s exciting to think about all the women’s hands that will have worked on it together, in spirit, if not in person.

Laura x


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