Summer Theme 2017- Weaves and Leaves

We’re thrilled to announce the summer theme for 2017 will be Weaves and Leaves- Fabrics and the plants that make them.  We’ll have a fascinating exhibition containing displays demonstrating the range of plants used to make fabric and telling the fascinating stories of how they’re made and how they impact our everyday lives.

Throughout history plants have been woven into every aspect of our lives, use of plants as fibre and fabric is no exception, the earliest recorded woven garment dates back to 3482 – 3102 BC (pictured below). Plants have been used as the core material for all manner of objects, including string, ropes and nets; spun into yarns and used to weave clothes and blankets.

Our Walks, Talks and Workshops programme will explore the theme in depth giving opportunities to learn in the garden at whatever age. We’ll be discussing the fabrics we use and wear in everyday life, as well as the sustainable and environmental issues surrounding them.

Unexpected surprises will complement the exhibition throughout the summer, including some exciting collaborations. We’ll be updating our website and social media so watch this space for updates! Weaves and Leaves Events are listed here.

If you’d like to know more about the fascinating world of plant based fabrics, you can read this additional information sheet put together by our Acting Head Gardener, Nell Jones.

Tarkhan dress

A pleated linen shirt found in First Dynasty Tarkhan cemetery in Egypt is the world’s oldest existing woven garmentPetrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology/UCL