The latest issue of Island Studies Journal contains a special themed section on Island Textiles and Clothing, edited by me and including articles by Ana Nolasco (‘Designing national identity through cloth: pánu di téra of Cape Verde’), Hélène B. Ducros (‘Reclaiming islandness through cloth circulation in Madagascar’)and Lynn-Sayers McHattie, Katherine Champion and Cara Broadley (‘Craft, textiles, and cultural assets in the Northern Isles: innovation from tradition in the Shetland Islands’).
This special thematic section of Island Studies Journal explores textiles and clothing from an island studies perspective. While there are many examples of textiles and clothing associated with particular islands, an explicitly island studies approach to them has not been fully developed. Such an approach offers the scholar of textiles and clothing a comparative perspective on disparate examples, and invites investigation of ‘island-ness’ beyond its frequent use in branding for a limited range of ‘heritage’ products. Within island studies, the often-remarked combination of materiality and symbolism in textiles and clothing provides insight into ‘island-ness’ in the round, encompassing environments, economies, communities and cultural imaginaries. This section includes work on the pánu di téra of Cape Verde, cloth circulation in Madagascar, and textile craft and the creative economy in Shetland.