EXHIBITIONS AND SUMMER TEXTILE SCHOOL: La Encartada Fabrika-Museoa, Balmaseda, Bizkaia

Susana Arce. Sequence I, detail. 2021. Felt. Merino, 3,5 pongée silk, mulberry silk. Materiales: lana merina, seda pongée 3,5, seda de morena. Part of a joint work with Berit Hals (Sequence II, handpainted silk).


The Asociación para la Creación Textil ACT organizes a series of exhibitions, workshops, Master Classes and other activities running through April 29 to October 1. The venue is La Encartada Fabrika-Museoa, an old woollen goods factory founded in 1892 and specializing in the making of txapelas (Basque for berets). La Encartada is an important part of the Basque Country industrial archaeological heritage as it preserves its original machinery, which is now being restored and put into operation. Since its conversion into a museum, this Industrial Heritage Reference is managed by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia.

The ACT is a non-profit organization founded in 1988 under the name of Creadores Textiles de Madrid and refounded in 2022 as a national association. Its aims are the preservation, promotion, and innovation of textile culture meaning all forms of textile creation, education, and heritage. It has been a member of ETN since 1994 and its current President, Lala de Dios, is a former ETN President (1997 – 2019) and now sits at the ETN Advisory Council.

Ábalos, María Rosa. Imagined Forest, detail. 2020. Mixed
Svetlana Gromik - Lana Venger. Blanc Sheet, 2019. Nuno felt. Merino and silk.
Luisa Donaire. River Mouth, 2020. Tapestry. Cotton, natural dyes, wool, acrylic.


Materia, Oficio, Alma / Matter, Craft, Soul (April 29 – October 1) is an exhibition that brings together 111 textile works by 50 authors, 36 of them ACT members and 14 residents of the Basque Country, all of them selected by a jury. The objective of the exhibition is to show the richness and varied practices of textile art, design and crafts, focusing on the three parameters that define the value of a work: enhancement of the expressive qualities of the material, technical excellence and adequacy with the concept to be conveyed and personal creativity as a sign of authorship.

Woven tapestries plus felt sculptures and objects are widely used techniques, but techniques also include knitting, embroidery, bobbin lace, natural dyes, painting on silk, macramé, vegetal handmade paper from plants… While most of the pieces shown are artistic works, some space is left to design with fashion accessories such as necklaces, bags, shawls or blankets also on display.

Amara Montes. Pot no.34, 2021. Coiling and sewing. Braided cotton cable, sewing thread, painting.
Ana Oliver Ruiz - Larsson Textile Design. Bag, 2022. Weaving. Wool, cotton, cotton fabric. Vegetable-curated leather
Kris Meraki. Fossils, 2022. Felt. Carded wool.

Fate, Destiny and Autodetermination (April 29 – August 6) is an international collaborative project by the Canadian artist Line Dufour. It is a work in progress that, so far, contains 963 pieces created by 570 people, professionals and amateurs, from 43 countries. These small irregularly shaped pieces are placed at variable heights, floating freely between two larger pieces, one woven by the artist and the other by the public. All have been photographed and documented by Dufour (@tapestryline) and the names of the participants appear on the website

The exhibition has been shown 14 times in Canada, the United States, Germany, Ireland, Uruguay, China and now in Spain from where it will travel to Turkey. Much of its success is due to social networks. Dufour was initially reluctant but later realized that she could use this modern technology to reference the tradition of tapestries being woven simultaneously by several people. She is working in a book about the project and hopes that the final destination of Luck, Fate and Self-Determination will be the National Gallery of Canada

Pilar Sala. Yellows, Harvest, Summer, 2021.Handmade vegetable paper. Different plants and recycled paper
Estela Sánchez - Son de telar. Full Moon Fields, 2016. Weaving. Merino, recycled silk threads, mohair, wool/acrylic threads
Soledad Santisteban. Containers, 2015 - 2021. Felt. Wool from different Spanish breeds
"Taaniko - Textileando con Puy (collective). Sinapsis, 2020. Machine sewing. Recycled fabrics"


For Espacio23  the ACT launched an open call offering a free space in the exhibition hall to exhibit, work, or interact with the public for 23 days… Five of the selected projects are individual or collective exhibitions. The sixth, and last, is entitled Put a beret in your life (better if it is intervened) and it is a collaborative project in which the traditional txapela (Basque for beret) will be intervened and/or made by ACT members in celebration of the past of the factory La Encartada and as the closing activity of the presence of ACT in this industrial monument.

María Zubizarreta - Ehunbizi Textiles. Mortadelo&Filemón Information Agency, 2022. Woven textile book. Cotton/linen threads, copper threads, strips of comic pages
Francesca Piñol. Paths, 2021. Jacquard weaving in a TC2 loom. Cotton, abaca, viscose and copper


During the five months in Balmaseda, the ACT will launch the first edition of its Summer Textile School, with a list of workshops and Master Class that make up a very wide range of training on theoretical and practical aspects of textile making. The professional program has the participation of leading national and international experts such as Rosa Chang, Veronika Persché or Dominique Cardon, without forgetting the general public with activities for all audiences and ages.

Several workshops have been scheduled in June in collaboration with the Basque BioDesign Center like Screen printing with natural dyes on bioplastics or Digital Weaving on the TC2. June is also a kind of Natural Dyes Month at La Encartada with workshops on Ecoprint, Printing with indigo, tannins and ferrous elements plus Korean traditional dyeing techniques taught by Rosa Chang. Most workshops can be held in English. More workshops to follow in July, August and September. If interested please write to or follow us at @actcreaciontextil


Asociación para la Creación Textil ACT – @actcreaciontextil
La Encartada Fabrika-Museoa – @laencartada
Fate Destiny and Autodetermination – @tapestryline


Storica dell'arte specializzata nella storia dell'arte e del design tessile. Tessitrice e designer di tessuti a mano per la moda e l'interior design nel suo studio/laboratorio Indigo Estudio Textil. Docente, scrittrice e ricercatrice. Per molti anni la sua ricerca si è concentrata sull'innovazione dei materiali e della tecnologia della tessitura a mano. Più di recente, la sua pratica potrebbe rimandare al "ritorno all'essenza", mettendo in evidenza le proprietà delle fibre e il potenziale creativo dei telai a mano. Curatrice e/o membro della giuria di importanti mostre nazionali e internazionali di arte tessile, tra cui le Biennali WTA in Costa Rica e Colombia, (2009), Peninsulares I, II e III (2013, 2021, 2022), Loose Ends (2014), Contextile (2014 - 2022), Pushing the limits (2019) e molte altre. Conferenze selezionate nel 2021-2022: Il ruolo delle Biennali e Triennali d'Arte Tessile nel posizionamento dell'arte tessile (Studi post-laurea in Arti Applicate, Escola Massana, Barcellona); L'artificazione dei tessuti (Museo Nazionale delle Arti Decorative, Madrid); Dalle Biennali di Losanna a oggi: l'origine e l'evoluzione dell'arte tessile contemporanea (Centro Andaluso d'Arte Contemporanea, Siviglia), Testo e Tessuti (Polo Culturale Matadero Madrid) e molte altre. Consulente e lavoratrice sul campo in progetti di sviluppo in paesi iberoamericani e africani, esperienze che hanno arricchito notevolmente la sua comprensione globale della diversità e della storia dell'artigianato tessile, nonché del suo ruolo nell'emancipazione delle donne e nella creazione di ricchezza. Poiché crede nella cooperazione e nella collaborazione, è stata - ed è tuttora - molto attiva nel campo delle associazioni. Attuale presidente di Asociación para la Creación Textil e di Oficio y arte, l'organizzazione nazionale spagnola per l'arte e l'artigianato, e membro del Consiglio consultivo dell'European Textile Network, ETN, che ha presieduto dal 1997 al 2019. Fa inoltre parte del Women in Visual Arts MAV e di altre associazioni e corporazioni. Come scrittrice è stata redattrice della European Textile Network e-Newsletter e della newsletter cartacea della Asociación de Creadores Textiles de Madrid e collaboratrice di riviste tessili come ArteMorbida e Selvedge. Sta contribuendo con un saggio su questo tema alla futura Bloomsbury World Encyclopedya of Textiles (che sarà pubblicata nel 2024). Interessi: tutto ciò che riguarda il tessile, la cooperazione, il networking. Contact: Tel. +34 91 8010907 Mobile phone and WhatsApp +34 658 059 627 Mail addresses (personal): - Mail addreses (institutional): -