Sunday, 7 February 2016

Practice Unit | Bradford Collection

Natural Dyeing | Colour palette

A strong focus in this project are the processes the yarn goes through, before it is woven. I've chosen to take my colour palette and inspiration from plants and vegetables I studied, whilst in France. I want to have the source of inspiration as a constant stream through this project. 

I've taken a lot of time experimenting with natural dyeing; I've learned so much regarding which plants work best, as well as the science behind the concept. I feel proud with the end result, knowing that I've grown/locally sourced the dyestuff, mordanted the fabric, prepared the dye bath, dyed the fabric and disposed of the waste, all in a sustainable way, with no harm to the environment. 

[left] naturally dyed linen samples [right] colour swatches and testers for palette

Structures | Weaving

I've chosen to work with a fairly simple and restricted colour palette; I feel this is important when trying to portray a natural theme. I'm working with 2/20s bleached linen which I've dyed using red cabbage and pomegranate seeds, and threaded my loom up on block - this will allow me to easily distinguish contrasting shapes and separate areas. 

After my tutorial with Lesley, I've found the concept of reinventing the old really interesting; she explained how subconsciously I've been incorporating so many traditional techniques into my work, but with a more current and contemporary outlook.  

Contrasting weft yarn 

When considering how I want my final samples to feel, I think I need to introduce another element into my work, to allow the fabric to feel softer and more luxurious. From market research, bedspreads and throws stocked at stores such as John Lewis, are often either knitted or contain a yarn which ensures the product will be comfortable to use. 

Whilst in the studios, I discovered an Italian yarn made from a viscose and wool blend, and it has led me to consider working with chenille. Using a yarn such as pre-dyed chenille, will provide the textural and luxurious aspect to my work, as well as creating a contrast against the natural linen. I also believe it is a way for me to push the idea of 'reinventing the old' - chenille is often seen as quite dated within textiles and I think it will be a challenge for me to dispose of this image. Companies such as Fabricut are already producing fabrics with a refreshingly modern take on chenille, by tightly weaving the yarn and adding a contemporary colour scheme.

Fabricut - 'Mood' collection

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