Week 35: Sewing Rebellion

Hi Everyone,

This Tuesday is another event in a year-long series of weekly conversations and exhibits in 2010 shedding light on examples of Plausible Artworlds.

This week we’ll be talking with Carole Frances Lung, biographer (and sometime impersonator) of Frau Fiber Textile Worker, founder of the Sewing Rebellion.


The Sewing Rebellion began in the fall of 2006 in Chicago, initially as a monthly free sewing workshop and clothing exchange. In January 2007, acknowledging that a rebellion couldn’t happen once a month, weekly Sunday afternoon meetings were established until May of 2007, when Frau Fiber went itinerant. Frau Fiber’s intention is to bring the Sewing Rebellion to communities around the country — and more recently to Haiti — where she lays the ground work for an economy of what she calls “STOP SHOPPING, START SEWING.” The Sewing Rebellion furthers the emancipation from the global garment industry by teaching and learning how to alter, mend and make one’s own garments and accessories. Textile work and activist Frau Fiber and / or regional chapter organizers distribute their knowledge of the garment industry, pattern making and sewing, encouraging the reuse, renovation and recycling of existing garments and textiles in the creation of unique items tailored to individual tastes and body shapes.

Whereas many of the plausible artworlds we have looked at over the past months have focused on the worldmaking potential of new digital technologies, the Sewing Rebellion has strove to pick up an older, “ur-analogic” thread — stitching, weaving, sewing, garment making — as an alternative to consumerism. More than that, the Rebellion explicitly links this activity to labor… perhaps the most crucial component of any plausible life world.