Textilised Traditions

How can design help safeguard heritage and communities identity in an increasingly globalised landscape?

Textilised Traditions is a narrative based textile project, where I aim to envision a future for the crafts that are gradually being lost in oblivion due to the increasing globalisation of society and the intensive production of goods.


With this work, I intend to remark on the importance of safeguarding our heritage as part of our identity as a community. What I propose is that these crafts could be implemented in recycling the waste that is constantly being produced as a consequence of a linear system. Is a link to close the loop and return these materials, which have lot of potential, to life again.

Therefore this project was born as a desire to use design as a tool to promote ecological and cultural sustainability. It started by collecting fish waste from a market as well as from other local fishmongers. I only used the skins that the fishmongers discard when they prepare the fish fillets for their customers. In this way, I was able to explore the potential of diverse pieces of skin and scales of different sizes and species. The results were very promising for a material that is still largely unexploited, specially within the design industry.



To explore the textile potential of this material, I immersed myself in the world of ancestral crafts of tribes and communities that have a long history of working with fish leather. Inspired by the techniques they used, I built my own compact tool to work with this material. I had the idea of creating a fish atelier, where all the waste once treated and prepared for use is categorised as if it were in a regular fashion workshop, making you forget that it was ever treated as rubbish. I also designed an entire fish garment inspired by the fishermen's uniform that demonstrates its use and potential in the textile and/or fashion field.


Creative Direction and Making by Paula Martin 
Photography: Maël Hénaff + Carlota Coiduras
Video: Maël Hénaff