The BOOK VS CLOTH is a collection of short stories that study the overlap between the two worlds of paper and fabric. Emma Singleton is a London-based designer and writer with a fascination for the obscure, the esoteric and the transcendental. Her work encompasses the worlds of language, signs and symbols. Within her practice she explores the intersections that exist between design and language; producing works that weave the two together into outcomes that have been described as visually vocal.

Keeping your heart in
a fabric padded pouch

Why do we wear our hearts on our sleeves?

Why do we pad out our love as though its bound to hurt?

Why does a heartbeat reverberate through the fabric of the skin?

The simple answer is to know and to protect.

We each use a pouch, a sleeve, a cover, or a purse to hold the true narrative of our emotions away from the elements in the world that might twist them out of shape. Without this form of protection, we become vulnerable. Without this concealment our stories would be laid bare to be judged at the mercy of society.

If we forget to wear our hearts in fabric padded pouches we might struggle to function honestly, its presence reminds us, its wearer, of our humanity. The beating of the fabric becomes a constant indication of our movements and emotions; the fast beating of energy, the steady rhythm of security, or the slow thumps of worry. These pulsations can also be translated into the intonations of each sentence spoken from within. Sentences which characterise the way we inwardly decide to outwardly present ourselves.

We lovingly keep our hearts narratives cloaked in the beauty of cloth that is visible from the outside yet protected and padded from the within.

The padding of these fabric pouches prevents creases, marks, and rips that happen to a hearts narrative if it is carried around unprotected. The pouch, its cloth and length vary from being worn off the shoulder, to being tucked in somewhere between the mid-upper arm and wrist. Its characteristics depend on the heart’s desires, the wearer status and the period or time it might be use for.

Keeping your heart in a fabric padded pouch is vital in a world so full of thorns and spikes. The padding is a buffer that filters out fumes and cushions the blow of any unforeseen inevitabilities. The necessity of its use and its presence on our bodies is an indication of both self-trust and doubt in others actions.

A form with function.

A heart in a pouch.

A life on a sleeve.

A cover over content.