Objektet och Museet: Livstycket at Stockholm City Museum

With the goal of integration–speaking, reading and writing the new language and feeling oneself at home in Sweden–the non-profit organization Livstycket uses sewing, embroidery and textile printing to help women connect with their new country and language, their peers, and themselves. In the tradition of the sewing bee or the Stitch ‘n’ Bitch, this tactile activity provides a common experience and a foundation for conversations and learning.

"Parasols" fabric print, created on a trip to Rosendal on Djurgården through the Livstycket program. Photo copyright Livstycket.

Livstycket means, “The Bodice“, and the word is most often used to describe the historical garment–one that “kept women warm and at the same time give them support.” Started by Birgitta Notlöf in 1992, the organization continues to grow, and has been collaborating with museums throughout the 2000s, most recently The Stockholm City Museum.

I haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet, but look forward to seeing the fruits of the women’s most recent projects: embroidery from “We drink tea and learn the letter e”, printed textile design from “Stockholm–My Place on Earth”, and fashions from “It Hangs on the Hair”, inspired by the continuing controversy over head coverings in Europe and the West and that most of the women who participate in Livstycket cover their hair. Opening night of the exhibition kicked off with a fashion show in Stockholm, designed by instructor/mentor Soondely Dejesus Wang and using the textiles created from these projects.

You can find the entire fashion show and opening speeches here.

Are there non-profits, programs and schools that use fibers and fashion towards integration where you live? Tell us about work you admire (or do) below!

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