Ms. brenda Lin’s book about a mother’s love for her child


Ms. brenda Lin published a book that uses textiles to convey parents’ love for their children. [Photo Courtesy to Ms. brenda Lin]

A mother’s love for her child cannot only be expressed through words, and the textiles incorporated in this book will show you why. Ms. brenda Lin, the upper school Writing Workshop & Seminar teacher, published a book called “Hope, that you can wear” in May 2021. This book uses pictures of textiles as well as physical materials, such as thread, to convey the message of the hope and love parents have for their children. Ms. Lin uses textiles from her mother’s private collection, which the designers at her family’s business, les enphants, use as an inspiration when designing children’s clothes. 

Prior to working on the book, Ms. Lin served as an assistant for her mother. She often helped out by writing English descriptions for textile exhibitions. However, through writing this book, Ms. Lin was able to take initiative and collaborate with her mother. 

When the book was published, Ms. Lin was surprised by how well the audience was able to understand the book. Many readers knew that it was not just about threads; there was a deeper meaning behind the book – it is the continuous love and hope parents have for their children. 

For Ms. Lin, the process of writing the book was smooth as she worked at les enphants for 20 years and knew it very well. Though the writing process came easy, putting the textiles on the pages was a challenge. For example, on page 10, she tried to glue the pieces of fabric on the page, but the fabric puckered and frayed at the edges. To solve this, she discussed with the printer and decided to embed the fabric between two pages, which produced much better results. 

Though there were many favorite parts of the book for Ms. Lin, one of her favorites was the page with a threaded needle. “The idea of this thread was so simple and it is the first encounter with the idea of a thread,” Ms. Lin said. Ms. Lin loved the thread as a metaphor because as a writer, you always talk about the ‘thread of a story’ – how there are endless ways you can write or describe a story. She loves the endless metaphors between textiles and text, which are often a focus of her writing. 

Towards the end, Ms. Lin expresses the deeper meaning behind the book. “In many cultures, mothers and grandmothers would sew for the family, particularly in Asian cultures. The symbols and pictures you embroider all have a meaning to bless this life, to protect the child. It’s an embodiment of this parent’s love and this is a physical way to express that love,” Ms. Lin said.