The Queue: Lily Fulop

The Queue: Lily Fulop

Discover what individuals from our craft community are into right now.

Published on Monday, August 17, 2020.
Portrait of Lily Fulop with mended pants and shorts

↑ Designer, writer, and visible mender Lily Fulop is featured in the Beauty issue of American Craft in "Beauty After Damage."
Photo: Courtesy of J Houston

Introducing the Beauty series of The Queue

A weekly roundup for and by the craft community, the Beauty series of The Queue introduces you to the makers, writers, curators, and more featured in the most recent issue of American Craft. We invite them to share their shortlist of exciting projects, people to follow, and content to consume to help you stay dialed into what's happening in the world of making.

For Lily Fulop, mending is about repairing more than just clothing

Lily Fulop @lil_ful is a designer, writer, and visible mender and one of three craftspeople featured in "Beauty After Damage," a piece featured in our Beauty issue exploring the practices of conservation, restoration, and repair. Lily is the author of Wear, Repair, Repurpose and is the mender behind the @mindful_mending Instagram account.

How do you describe your work or practice in 50 words or less?
I’m a multi-disciplinary designer and textile artist working in the space of fashion sustainability through repair and reuse. I mend and upcycle clothing as a practical way to reduce waste and a radical way to fight consumerism. As a graphic designer, I use visual communication to empower others to do the same.

In these times of COVID-19 isolation, social unrest, and calls for change, where are you finding beauty?
I’m finding beauty in the act of repair as metaphor. Society is broken, but we’re not powerless: we have the agency and ability to use our skills to create change, just like many small stitches can make clothing strong. Seeing people get angry and take action together is beautiful.

Wear Repair Restore by Lily Fulop

Wear, Repair, Repurpose, published this last spring, is Lily's first book.
Photo: Lily Fulop

Shirt sleeve mended by Lily Fulop

↑ For Lily, mending clothes is both practical and a form of activism and self-expression.
Photo: Lily Fulop

What are your thoughts on the relationship between craft and beauty?
I appreciate the history of crafted objects: the imperfections that show it was made by hand, not machine; the marks that show that it was lovingly used. Craft is beautiful because it provides connection between the maker and the user, giving evidence to a very human process of expressing creativity and functional necessity.

What’s one of your favorite tools in your workshop?
Lately, I've been getting a lot of use out of my seam ripper! When deconstructing clothes for upcycling projects, the seam ripper helps me harvest every last bit of material. Another "tool" I use a lot is an old jar for stretching my socks when I darn them (in place of a darning egg/mushroom).

Craft is beautiful because it provides connection between the maker and the user, giving evidence to a very human process of expressing creativity and functional necessity.
Socks darned by Lily Fulop

↑ Mending socks keeps garments out of landfills and can add individual flare to everyday clothes.
Photo: Lily Fulop

What’s an exhibition or art project you think the world should know about?
@covid19quilt and @quarantine_quilt are both Instagram accounts that are functioning as collaborative, global, digital quilts, in the tradition of historical textiles made to mark important occasions. They're a place for people to express unease, frustration, boredom, fear, and everything else being experienced during this unique time.

If you could purchase any artists' work for your home or studio, whose would it be and why?
I love the gauzy patchwork curtains made by Thompson Street Studio @thompsonstreetstudio because the naturally dyed fabric lets colored light filter through in beautiful ways, and the compositions make use of all sizes of scrap fabric.

Help raise up voices from the craft community

Become an American Craft Council member and support nonprofit craft publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about making and help grow the number of lives craft has touched.

Become a member