Category Archives: 1.Selecting and Identifying

PROJECT 1 SELECTING AND IDENTIFYING

PROJECT ONE. SELECTING AND IDENTIFYING

My definition of ‘Textiles’

In the broadest sense a textile is something that forms a function to either cover or protect, it is a collection of fibers linked together in some way to make a larger surface area, which can then be manipulated, cut, sewn or glued to serve its end purpose.

A textile is something that can be decorative or plain depending on its intended use whether it is to be industrial, domestic or medical. Fibers can be synthetic, natural, or animal derived.

I tended to think of textiles only in the sense of the decorative for home furnishing and fashion but after thinking further about this question “what is the definition of textiles” I find myself questioning many other products around me in my daily life that I take for granted…is the rubber seal around my car window a textile? It is after all made from fibre bonded together and manipulated. What about when broken arms used to be covered in plaster of Paris to mend them? The plaster set over crape bandage and molded, when this was taken off the arm it retained its shape and form. I think a Stone is not a textile, but once it has had a hole drilled through it and then liked with other stones by a thread or even wire, does it then become a textile? A plastic bag can be made into a coat, and so can many other materials that I wouldn’t think of as a textile. So the more I think about this question the more my thoughts blur and I can only say that I think I had better say I need to keep an open mind on this, and maybe come back to it quite a few times as my opinions develop during this course.

.Can Textiles have Stories and Narratives.

Yes, all textiles tell a story. I love second hand flea market buys, I am drawn to the texture that time shows in a fabric. I tend to buy linens and cottons and these so often show a history of whether they have been boxed away for best and over time yellowing at the folds or whether they have been used daily showing bobbles and sometimes a little careful mending. Vintage clothes tell fabulous stories of love affairs, tea dances, weddings and special days.

I don’t think I have anything in my home be it a lampshade, bag, a garment or a bed throw that doesn’t bring back a memory to me of where I bought, the year, what I was doing at the time.it or what I made it from. If I made it which is normally the case it usually had another life story before I cut it up and recreated it into something else. Most of the textiles in my house have at least nine lives. Here are two examples.

  •  Dining room curtains. The main bulk of the fabric I bought going cheap at a market, the fiber content is linen with an embroidery paisley pattern (probably originated from India). I intended to make it into curtains at my previous house before this one, but instead they remained in a bag and boxed away for a few years before I discovered the fabric again once I moved to France. There wasn’t quiet enough fabric for the size of curtains I needed for my windows so I cut up an old table cloth and added this, to create the length, the trim is hand made from China and imported about fifteen years ago for my fashion accessories practice and again has sat boxed away until now waiting to be re discovered.

 

  •  Patchwork quilt….still in the making. I discovered this quilt after my Mother passed away amongst her many sewing things and this patchwork tells so many stories! She started it back in the 1970s and it is made from entirely old bits of cotton dresses we both wore and also I recognise some of the designs from flower power ties my little brother had. He was about six and wore ties on elastic in bright pink and turquoise flower designs. Mum always made my dresses and I have memories of them all and the excitement of a matching headband was immense. The prints are of all colours and mainly flower designs, a real statement of the time. Each hexagon shape is hand stitched onto magazine cuttings which seem to mainly be from an old high way code book. It was around this time Mum was learning to drive,  believe it or not, not many women drove at this time. Each hexagon is then sewn to the next by hand and I remember her sitting sewing this in the evenings, no wonder she didn’t finish it with five children and growing all the vegetables, baking bread and cooking everything herself from Jam to Christmas cake on a solid fuel ‘Rayburn’. Looking back no wonder when at the age of ten I told her I was turning ‘Vegetarian’ she went mad!!I love this quilt, it tells a million stories of wear and tear of my childhood and my mothers life.

THE ARCHIVE  Exercise 1.1

I have decided to choose items for this project from my own archive. I have got boxes of fabric trims, bits of fabric and so many clothes it seemed only logical to take a closer more in-depth look at what I already have. I have chosen three items from my wardrobe, an evening gown a kimono top and a shoulder bag, each of these items is linked by the theme of embellishment and  layers of embroidery, bead work and applique.

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SUBSTANCE and STORY Exercise 1.2

EMBELISHED SHOULDER BAG

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  • It is made from a mixture of fibers. Printed cotton, leather, metal  zip , plastic mirror work, glass beads and lurex thread.
  • There is no label.
  • I remember buying it from ‘Accessorise’ 3 years ago.
  • I would hand wash this textile.

What methods have been used in its production?

  • This textile is woven and then embellished with applique, beadwork and embroidery.
  • It is hand-made although many of its components are machine made, the finishing embellishments such as the bead work is definitely hand finished as well as some of the embroidery. There is no identified maker.
  • The textile finishing methods that have been employed are, machine printing, hand embroidery, leather-work, hand bead-work
  • The textile ground is printed cotton and then it is completely covered in embellishment by hand and by machine.

Where is the textile from?

  • I would guess India is its manufacturing origin.
  • There is no manufacturing label.
  • It is not possible to be completely sure where the fabric is from.
  • I think the whole process of making this textile would have been done in India, from growing the cotton to the printing to the manufacturing of each component.

What problems y is important to be sure the fabric of origin is ethical and to be environmentally friendly.

  • For the missing information I could try an approach the design department directly at ‘Accessorise’ the company designed and manufactured this bag.

STORY

What other visual indications can you glean from closely examining the textile sample? If the textile has been made into a product, what can you learn from further visual examination?

  • This textile is well worn and heavily used.
  • The textile is durable and hard wearing
  • The age is of the textile is about 4 years old
  • There is lots of patina due to wear, not so much age. There are frayed edges and loose threads, the leather is worn in places and a few of the beaded embellishments are missing.
  • There is no evidence of repair or alterations.
  • I know the story behind the life of this textile because it has traveled everywhere with me. It is my dog walking bag, my going out shopping bag and my dressing up but feeling “Boho” bag. It is a happy well loved bag.

Are there any elements of the design, detail, decoration or construction of the textile sample that indicates a story behind the textile product? ( could this be the use of traditional motifs to t-shirt slogans)

  • There are no slogans or motifs used in the design of this textile.
  • This textile is designed to be transient.
  • This textile is personal to me as I love its vibrancy of colour and texture and that makes me happy.

 

EVENING GOWN

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SUBSTANCE

What is this textile made from?

What methods have been used in its production?

  • This textile is woven silk with lurex thread running through the silk to make a design. There is beadwork and embroidery.
  • It is a machine made textile with many embellishments such as the bead and jewel work hand finished. There is no identified maker other than it is designed by Sue Wong.
  • The textile finishing methods that have been employed are machine weaving and  machine embroidery,  hand bead/ jewel-work
  • the textile ground is silk.

Where is the textile from?

  • This garment was made in China.
  • There is a manufacturing label.
  • It is not possible to be completely sure where the fabric is from.
  • I think the whole process of making this textile would have been produced in China.

What problems have you encountered in trying to find out this information?

  • Traceability is important to be sure the fabric of origin is ethical and to be environmentally friendly.
  • By law, manufacturing origins and fiber contend and wash care labels must be added to a garment, these are all sewn into the lining of the dress so I had all the information I required.

STORY

What other visual indications can you glean from closely examining the textile sample? If the textile has been made into a product, what can you learn from further visual examination?

  • This textile is in nearly new condition.
  • The textile is delicate.
  • The age is of the textile is about 6 years old
  • There is only one sign of age and that is a single missing jewel from the centre embellished panel.
  • There is no evidence of repair or alterations.
  • This dress was bought from TK Max. I found it screwed up in a sorry state on the floor at the back of a rail. I cost me £34

Are there any elements of the design, detail, decoration or construction of the textile sample that indicates a story behind the textile product? ( could this be the use of traditional motifs to t-shirt slogans)

  • There are no slogans or motifs used in the design of this textile.
  • This textile is designed to be transient.
  • This Evening gown is personal to me as I love its vibrancy of colour and texture and the way the gold lurex shot through the silk hits the light and shimmers.

 

KIMONO TOP

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SUBSTANCE

What is this textile made from?

  • This garment is made from Silk.
  • There is a manufactures label stitched in to the lining of this garment.
  • I would dry clean this textile.

What methods have been used in its production?

  • This textile is woven and then embellished with applique, beadwork and embroidery.
  • It is machine made, the finishing embellishments such as the bead work is definitely hand finished as well as some of the embroidery and applique. There is no identified maker.
  • The textile finishing methods that has been employed is weaving and dying of the silk,  hand embroidery, hand bead-work, hand applique.
  • The textile ground is dyed silk and then it is embellishment by hand and by machine.

Where is the textile from?

  • I would guess China is its manufacturing origin.
  • There is no country of origin manufacturing label.
  • It is not possible to be completely sure where the fabric is from.
  • I think the whole process of making this textile would have been produced in China.

What problems have you encountered in trying to find out this information?

  • Traceability is important to be sure the fabric of origin is ethical and to be environmentally friendly.
  • For the information missing, I feel it would be impossible to trace where exactly this textile was made as it is now at least 14 years old, I can only guess by using my past experience of manufacturing in the fashion trade.

STORY

What other visual indications can you glean from closely examining the textile sample? If the textile has been made into a product, what can you learn from further visual examination?

  • This textile is in nearly new condition.
  • The textile is delicate.
  • The age is of the textile is about 14 years old
  • The only wear and tear is one or two missing beads.
  • There is no evidence of repair or alterations.
  • This garment was bought by me from Harvey Nichols around 14 years ago.

Are there any elements of the design, detail, decoration or construction of the textile sample that indicates a story behind the textile product? ( could this be the use of traditional motifs to t-shirt slogans)

  • There are no slogans or motifs used in the design of this textile.
  • This textile like all fashion is designed to be transient, except that when I buy something  I tend to keep it forever and sometimes give it a new life into something else after wearing it several times.
  • It is personal to me as I love its.

Nostalgia is a recurring theme in textiles and within the broader sphere of design and art. Textiles have special role play, as we can attach memories, experiences and sensations, particularly to wearing of textiles or there close proximity.

I feel a great sense of nostalgia about the three items that I have chosen but I am like that about everything I own. I collect and hang on to everything, be it clothing, beads or furniture in my home. I just connect with things that make me feel good and I make a conscious effort to part with anything that doesn’t make me feel emotionally happy.It was a very conscious decision to choose these textile for my my three items as each piece has so many elements of visual interest,wear and tear, colour and texture.

All three items I have chosen have a sense of heritage, they have all three been with me to many an evening out and are full of memories of parties, friends, food and wine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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