I started this Assignment with a review of the coursework created for Part 5, and took time to consider the context of the collection I was going to put together.
As I had been working through the coursework, I thought that several of the designs could be adapted to work well in felt, which could then be used in household decor, such as cushion covers or wall hangings. I decided to apply some constraints to the created textiles: they would all be in felt (some with embellishments in other materials) and would feature white, green and pink from my originally selected colour palette.
I carried out some research into current trends in interior decor on amara.com, vogue.com, telegraph.co.uk, thatssogemma.com and pantone.com. I was pleased to see that Pantone’s colour of the year is ‘Greenery‘ – a yellowish green that is a slightly darker tone of the green in my palette (which was originally derived from tulip colours).
The white, pink and green from the palette have a fresh, Spring/Summer appeal with strong contrasts and a connection to flowers and the white of summer clothing, white interiors, and weddings (the ideal wedding gift!). It also has a cheerful and light-hearted feel to it, while the warm, fuzzy feel of the felt gives a comforting, cozy, homely element to the created textiles.
Other trends that I thought I might be able to incorporate into some of my designs included:- tropical; texture; geometrics; natural materials; varied patterns; romance; eco-friendly interiors; and plant motifs.
I made some drawings of ideas for further development.
Textile #1 – “Scribble”
This has come a long way from the source material of tulips. This idea was one that I went back to: Yarn Concept #1 and the subsequent drawing of it. I tried a couple of samples. The first was machine sewn, but I found the thread was not bold enough for my liking so I changed to couched yarn. I thought that this was quite successful and I could imagine it as a handmade cushion for the luxury market or as a printed textile for the mass market.
Textile #2 – “White Bamboo”
This textile was again derived from the tulip drawings and subsequent plastic manipulations, and this evaluation drawing, in particular. My husband gave me the idea for this name, when he said that it reminded him of bamboo.
The construction involves cutting the white layer with a scalpel; sewing it to a layer of green felt, then using large hand couching stitches to secure the two layers while adding the pink highlights.
I liked this textile and felt it could be used in a similar way to Textile #1 – handmade or converted to a print version.
Textile #3 – “Flower Net”
This pattern emerged when I was drawing ideas. It flowed from the idea for Textile #2, but as a regular, rather than a random pattern. I remembered making a net yarn for 4.2/3. I initially tried it with strips of felt, but they did not lie flat or change direction in the way that the cotton cord I eventually used, did. The buttons perform the function of holding the cord in place, as well as providing a focal point embellishment to the design. The hardest thing about this was getting all the measurements correct for placement of the cord and buttons to make a regular grid. The resulting textile has a geometric look to it, and combines that with the floral theme that is on trend for this year’s designs.
Textile #4 – “Pink Catkin”
This textile was a development from Textile #10 from the last part of the coursework. That was a mixture of textile marker marks with needle-punched embroidery thread in a small scale pattern. I enlarged the scale, added colour and made the imagery more abstract for this piece. I tried needle-punching on felt, but it didn’t work at all, so I had to inset monk’s cloth areas into the felt. I like the contrast in textures (another of this year’s trends) and colour. I made the pink areas too large (the monk’s cloth seems to stretch when needle-punched – something to bear in mind for future projects). I liked the contrasting textures and there is the possibility of changing the length of the looped yarn; cutting it to produce a velvet-like texture; and using all sorts of yarns and even fine strips of fabric using this method. I can imagine producing wall hangings with textured areas combined with patchwork or plain fabrics such as this example.
Textile #5 – “Blossom”
I tried various sizes, layouts and petal types on rough paper before making a template for this one. The petals were hand drawn in slightly different sizes to give an irregular look to the piece. I did not want it to look ‘machine-made’. The white felt was cut with a scalpel and scissors to make the petals, before layering with the pink felt. I debated about adding centres to the flowers, and made a few tiny samples, but felt that the simple version was more successful. The petals fall outwards to reveal the under layer when the fabric is vertical, so it would be best suited to cushions, room dividers etc. Having said that I wanted it to look ‘handmade’, I think that this could be manufactured with a laser cutting service.
Textile #6 – “Magenta Tulips”
Derived from Textile #3 from the previous set of samples. I had envisioned this design made from velvet ribbon, but my sample wasn’t satisfactory, so I tried a few variations in felt. The heads alone looked as if they needed a stem in this iteration, so I took the opportunity to add a touch of the green from the palette. I attached the ‘petals’ so that they were slightly 3-D, but in retrospect, I think they would have been better flat. Each one was attached in a slightly different layout, so that the end result was not too uniform. I liked this simplified tulip and will probably use it on future projects. The basic flower head could be arranged in various patterns, printed or appliquéd.
The Plantasia Textiles Capsule Collection
The work will be presented in two books:- a workbook with some of the drawings, samples and notes in it, and a “Plantasia” presentation book showing the development work carried out for the 10 textiles samples made during the coursework, and a short section showing how these were then developed for the capsule collection (above). The capsule collection are 30 cm square samples, so will be labelled and presented separately, as will the larger drawings and paper manipulations.
sample pages from workbook (above)
sample pages from “plantasia textile collection” presentation book (above)
This has been a satisfying conclusion to the earlier experiments, and I feel that the six created textiles hang together as a collection, connected by the materials, colour palette, source material and some common techniques (appliqué, hand stitch, couching, cutting, layering etc). The context of designs for interiors helped to focus my efforts on a simple combination of contrasting colours and bold patterns that would work on cushions or wall hangings, for example.
What have I learnt during this Assignment?
- thinking about the intended use of the created textiles made me think about suitable materials and techniques for the end product
- working with a limited set of materials, colours and techniques led to new avenues for exploration and pointed to the best way forward for development
- samples have again been useful in showing successful scales, techniques and colour combinations
- four of these ideas evolved from a single source (the tulip drawings), so I can see the benefits from gathering lots of source material from first hand observation and drawing, and continuing to draw throughout the design process
https://www.amara.com/ Accessed 24/5/17 – 01/06/17
https://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/index.aspx Accessed 25/5/17 – 01/06/17
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ Accessed 25/5/17 – 01/06/17
http://thatssogemma.com/ Accessed 25/5/17 – 01/06/17
http://www.vogue.co.uk/?international Accessed 25/5/17 – 01/06/17