Inuit wall-hangings

Elizabeth at Quieter Moments has posted some samples of Eskimo edging stitch.  This was a new stitch to me.  It is essentially a variety of laced running stitch.  I was curious about the source of the name. According to the book that Elizabeth consulted, it is a “reversible edging stitch used by Eskimos and Inuit to bind the edges of their sealskin clothing to make it waterproof.”

This brought to mind the Inuit wall-hangings.  These are generally felt applique with embroidery.  It isn’t a traditional art per se, but developed, I think, in the 1950s-60s.  I’ve never noticed this stitch specifically used (but I admit I’ve never looked that closely).  What particularly attracts me to these is the use of color and the images. 

There are a number of images of Inuit wall-hangings available online. Most of these are  galleries rather than from museums.  One site that I was able to find is the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre at the University of Guelph which has a number of these hangings.

 Here are links to the collection, and a couple of examples:

Irene Avaalaaqiaq – Fighting Women and Happy Spring Has Returned and Sometimes We Are Lonely

Victoria Mamnguqsualuk – Caribou Spirit Woman

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One response to “Inuit wall-hangings

  1. Pingback: Eskimo edging stitch: Day 3 « Quieter Moments

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