Sunday, 7 February 2016

Practice Unit | Bradford Collection


Throughout the Practice Unit, I intend to create collections surrounding Sustainable Textiles within Interiors. I understand that it is an area that is becoming increasingly important within the fashion industry, however there doesn't seem to be the same awareness towards sustainability in the interiors market. Through extensive research and sampling, I hope to understand why this.

Sustainability in Textiles is an enormous area to focus on, so my initial starting point will be the dyeing processes. 

Synthetic dyes have become the go-to option; they have strong pigmentation, endless colour options and are easily taken by the fabric. From reading an article in The Guardian, I discovered that until last year, the toxic effluent from dye houses around the World, could often be seen flowing through rivers and chemically damaging the surrounding areas. As a result of this, companies such as DyeCoo and AirDye have started to produce waterless dye technology, in the hope it will reduce the amount of wastewater and pollution. 

Inspiration | Initial Research

Having spent the majority of my childhood growing up in the French countryside and being surrounded by the organic environment, I've always felt very inspired by the earth and the beauty within nature. After spending a fortnight in France over the summer, it enabled me to gather my visual research and confirmed that this would be my starting point for my Practice Unit. 

For the Bradford competition, I aim to design and produce a collection of fabrics that explore these areas of research and will be aimed towards an interior-based context, particularly high end. 

Own image | Vegetable garden in France

I want to further develop my understanding of the processes used when naturally dyeing fabric, as well as take a lot of time and consideration when choosing my yarn. I understand that the yarn plays a vital role when discussing sustainable textiles, therefore I want to spend a lot of time on this. I want my colour palette to be clean and professional, whilst also demonstrating the organic elements in my work. I hope to experiment with printing and explore ways of adding textures to my work. I intend to continue exploring my ideas through an experimental approach, to allow me to not only develop a strong understanding within this area of textiles, but also create a solid collection of work, portraying a broad range of abilities for my portfolio. 

I have spent a lot of time researching other companies which work with similar morals as my own. After contacting Whaleys Bradford Limited, I have discovered various fabrics created using 100% natural fibres - bamboo, pineapple, flax, however I believe linen to be the most suitable for this project. Alternative natural fibres can be extremely expensive, and although I'm aiming my collection at a high-end market, I want this to be shown through the quality of the fabric and not just the price.

I've also sourced other fabric samples from various companies, to help decide what sort of density I want for my fabric, and learn how linen works when combined with other natural yarns. I've discovered that linen works best when mixed with cotton, as it helps to soften the fabric - this could be something I consider using later on in the project?

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