Tag Archive | tigers

Endangered Species: The Sweater

4000 tigers 1s

I’ve spoken before about the show I saw at The Drawing Center with textiles as its theme (http://www.drawingcenter.org/en/drawingcenter/5/exhibitions/9/upcoming/806/thread-lines/).  It was interesting to me that a few of the artists used sweaters and sweater graphs in their work, but I was put off by the fact that they used sweaters that other people had designed, once again exploiting the creative work of those mostly anonymous and underpaid textile artists.

4000 tigers close up 3s

It occurred to me that I could exploit myself.  I’ve been re-purposing my unsold swatches from my own design work for pillows and dolls–why not make an artistic statement derived from their original purpose?  Over the 20+ years that I designed and made these miniature sweater fronts, I must have produced thousands of designs.  I have hundreds that were returned from my reps (because they didn’t sell) to choose from.

4000 tigers close up 2s

Animal skin as a motif is perennially popular; I decided to combine some of those patterned sweater designs with my concern about endangered species.   I embroidered in black and white duplicate stitch a statement–“there are less than 4000 wild tigers left in the world”–and a ghostly tiger face on top of the knit sweater front.

4000 tigers slant s

What do you think?


tiger s

In the early 1900’s, 9 species of tigers inhabited the earth.  There were over 100,000 tigers.  Now, 6 species remain; less than 4000 tigers exist in the wild.

Loss of habitat.  Poaching.  The Chinese have become prime customers for poachers:  members of the new affluent class use the ownership of the traditional ingredients in Chinese medicine, many from endangered species, as a symbol of their status and wealth.

The only way to solve the problem of this staggering rate of species loss is for all the peoples (and governments) of the world to first recognize the crisis, and then for all to work together to find solutions.  Can we do it?