Textiles, Objects and Books


Growing up, I watched how my grandmother, Edith Wyle, engaged art, textiles, objects and books to connect with people. They became monuments of her diverse travels, and she coveted them with tenderness and wonder. She was always opening books, showing their contents, displaying her textiles and objects just-so, telling human stories. 

On afternoon visits with her,  we traveled together by reading. We wandered the pages, absorbing the saturated colors of the photos, or touching the objects on her shelves. It was she who first inspired my love of indigo and blue, through her fascination of Japanese fiber and cloth.

Like Edith, I’ve always been a collector of books and an arranger of space. Books are my companions, records, agents of change. They chronicle human experience, help us notice more, connect us to each other. Most importantly, they are the keepers of information: inventions, achievements and techniques. And then there is space. Space arranged specifically has the ability to inspire contemplation.

The collection in this library began with a thousand volumes from Edith”s personal library, along with some of her amazing textiles and tools, and the desire to share these rarities with the public. Over the years it has grown, as I have added to it, diligently and enthusiastically. I am always entranced by a new blue object, looking for clues of its maker or previous owner. Regardless of factual information, these objects and fragments inspire emotion, and serve to represent our cultural heritage.

I deeply loved the way my grandmother related to objects. How she cared about the people that made them and the stories they held. That she taught me to do the same, thereby expanding my ideas about language into the realm of the visual and tactile. ‘Stories can be touchable,’ her way seemed to say. The TATTER Blue Library seeks to add to the reading experience, with objects you can hold. 


Jordana Munk Martin
is the founder of TATTER and its BLUE Library.
Want to have a conversation about cloth? Contact her at Jordana@tatter.org





STITCHTEMBER is a series of four, unique and exclusive stitching workshops, with accompanying historical lectures in the month of September - in honor of New York Textile Month, led by artists and educators.

Purchase any workshop for $150 or the entire series for $500.

Japanese Boro Textiles and Hand Stitching Workshop, lecture by and highlights from the collection of Stephen Szczepanek, owner of Sri Textiles, in Brooklyn, followed by stitching workshop ‘The Boro Tote,’ created and led by esteemed author Kaari Meng, owner of French General in Los Angeles, California.

This course will begin with a lecture about the history of Japanese folk textiles with diverse examples of antique mended cloth and sashiko stitched yardage and garments. Students will then hand-piece a beautiful square sampler using traditional Japanese stitched to adorn a linen tote.

When: Saturday, September 16, 2017, 1 - 5PM


Hungarian Written Embroidery, lecture and stitching workshop by artist Sarah Pedlow of San Francisco, California.

This workshop teaches the basic stitches of Hungarian written embroidery, a folk style that originated in Transylvania, Romania in the late 18th Century. Students will stitch a heart or tulip design on a piece of linen that can later be sewn into a small bag, pin cushion, or decorative hanging or added to a quilt or clothing. Stitchers will also take home resources on Hungarian embroidery and patterns.  Sarah will share her knowledge of the culture and history of Transylvanian textiles and her extensive travel experience in Hungary and Romania.

You can learn more and follow her research, work and travel at www.threadwritten.com

When: Sunday, September 17, 2017, 1 - 4pm

Traditional Palestinian Embroidery

Traditional Palestinian Embroidery, lecture and workshop by artist and educator Wafa Ghnaim, Brooklyn, NY.

Traditional Palestinian Embroidery will focus on the preservation of the indigenous, time-honored and endangered art of Palestinian embroidery. The workshop is centered on her new digital book, Tatreez & Tea: Embroidery and Storytelling in the Palestinian Diaspora, which attempts to preserve the craft of embroidery as well as the art of storytelling that is encapsulated in each traditional Palestinian motif. Participants will learn how to embroidery a traditional Palestinian embroidery motif, using the cross-stitch technique, to create a small wall-hanging to frame.

To learn more about the book project and organization, please visit www.tatreezandtea.com.

When: Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 6:30 - 9:30pm

Modernist Smocking, lecture and workshop by artist, designer and architect Annie Coggan.

This workshop will investigate the modernist potential of smocking and explore the world of three-dimensional embroidery.

Designer Annie Coggan will share her historical research conducted at the TatterBlue library this summer; her method of visual scholarship and brand of “hand-making history” that has lead her to create a smocked armchair for the library. The evening will include Coggan’s insights on the history of this technique as well as a hands on workshop examining smocking techniques and modernist experiments.

You can see her work at anniecoggan.com.

When: Thursday, September 28, 2017, 6:30 - 9:30pm