Louisiana artisan showcased as Selvedge World Fair participant


The Selvedge World Fair, based in London, England, has announced its 2021 event participant list, which includes 150 artisans from across the world chosen from over 1,000 applicants.

Jerry Neil Hale of Breaux Bridge is one of the small groups of worldwide artisans that have been chosen to participate. Hale is the President, CEO and The Southern Planter of Acadian Brown Cotton. Since 2010, Hale, along with his wife Mary Alice Nicholson Hale, has found himself nestled in the Bayou Teche region of south central Louisiana where today his roots and his love for Acadian Brown Cotton are firmly planted into the soils bordering the Atchafalaya Basin area.

Motel 6

No pun intended, Hale’s roots run deep when it comes to the planting and production of cotton as well as its historical and artistical value in a world market. A fourth generation cotton planter, Hale is now referred to as “Mr. Brown Cotton” by local artisans. He prides himself being born and raised a grandson and great grandson of share croppers in the “White Gold Capital of the South” Rayville, a rural community in the northeast region of the state

Hunting, fishing, traveling and of course gardening is what takes his relaxation time, but needless to say, cotton, Acadian Brown Cotton is and always will be the thread that connects him to this earth. “J’aime le coton jaune – I love brown cotton!” Hale promotes on a daily basis.

The world-renowned Selvedge World Fair (Aug. 31 – Sept. 5) is a five-day online event and will present the work of 150 master artisans from 78 countries, bringing together varied -and in some cases endangered- textile traditions from around the world.

Visitors can buy handmade treasures, take part in online workshops, listen to talks on textile related themes and watch 24 hours of live streamed Slow TV from Cusco in Peru. Expect indigo dyers from Japan, baskets makers from Swaziland, rug weavers from Uzbekistan, an Acadian Brown Cotton producer from Louisiana, and many more.

Tickets for the event and log-in can be found at https://www.selvedge.org/products/selvedge-world-fair-1-4-september-2021.

The main focus of activity this year will take place on Saturday, Sept. 4 with the broadcast of a 24-hour live event (via Zoom) from nine locations around the world. The virtual microphone will be passed from country to country throughout the day, beginning in New Zealand at midnight and ending in Vancouver, Canada 24 hours later. Each satellite host will curate a two and a half-hour slot filled with talks, Q&A sessions, artisan interviews, studio visits, film screenings, etc., focusing on the indigenous textiles produced in that region.

According to Hale, his worldwide presentation at the event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4 between 2 a.m./CST – 4 a.m./CST (08:00 BST – 10:00 BST).

For more information on Acadian Brown Cotton, contact Hale at AcadianBrownCottonofLouisiana@gmail.com.

To learn more about how the Selvedge World Fair enables those who create handmade textiles to tell their own stories and share their cultural heritage, visit https://www.selvedge.org.