Project 3 Initial Research- Bradford Textile Society

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For our new project, I have explored my previous samples from projects 1 and 2 to discover which elements of these inspire me to drive this new project. Having analysed my samples from Projects 1 and 2, I realised that I wanted to focus on knit, crochet and embroidery, playing around with the textures and forms that these techniques can create. I noticed that in many of my previous samples I had enjoyed working with contrast – light and dark, thick and thin, sharp and blunt textures, dull and bright and so on. I liked how a contrast or change in material created an interactive experience in my samples such as how light interacted through gaps in a knit created with a fine yarn, or how gold or silver threads highlighted duller more heavyweight yarns. From exploring these quite organic features to my work, I took inspiration from rock formations in nature and geodes as I saw these as naturally producing the same contrast I had discovered in my own work. I was inspired by how light reflected off of precious stones and how certain rock formations feature layering creating a built up and unique pattern. I wanted to apply this same idea into my own work, so I started off by creating some drawings from my work and building a mood board from this


In my mood board I began to explore current and future trend predictions and how constructed textiles fitted in within this. Initially I discovered a revival in comfort knits and traditional knitwear. An emphasis on moss and garter stitch to promote comfort in oversized garments was present, and the idea of protection and covering up also seemed to link with current events. Alongside COVID 19, it is clear that people have become more introverted with the need to protect and comfort being greater than ever. Therefore, I explored the possibility of creating oversized proportions through knit and crochet to promote comfort and well being. I included big collars, scarfs and thick coats in my research to further visualise my inspirations and ideas.

Moving on from my initial research, I looked at different upcoming trend predictions and past collections which inspired me and linked back to my initial research and drawings. From looking at my samples from projects 1 and 2 I liked how threads contrasting each other through thickness, feel and colour. I really like Helen Lawrence’s knitwear collection which shows thick, contrasting pattern in knitwear. Her alternative approach to knit inspired me to experiment in a non linear way when practicing my knit and crochet stitches. Next I looked at how I could include colour and work with light and pattern to embellish my samples and add yet another contrasting element to them. Using gold and silver threads, beadings, sequins and embroidery I wondered how I could experiment further with how light could alter the yarns and the composition of them.


Combining my research, I looked at developing inspiration taken from a range of artists and designers. I really liked how the thick and thin yarns work together. I would like to experiment with using mohair wool which gives this lovely light and delicate look which I think would contrast well when using a thicker, tougher yarn. This could work well with using certain embroidery techniques and beading, or using embroidery to hang and stitch pieces that reflect light or mimic light, which links back to my initial inspiration from marbled rock formations and geodes, where precious stones spill out of ragged rock formations.


Developing my ideas further , through my research into trend prediction I discovered that due to the COVID 19 pandemic, fashion is due to take a greater emphasis on large, oversized silhouettes that promote comfort and protection. This got me thinking about how this could be portrayed – additional pieces to garments that cover the mouth and nose, full knitwear pieces that wrap around the body in ways that promote comfortability and movement as well as pieces that suggest versatile purposes for an end piece or garment. Alongside the pandemic, climate change has ignited a greater awareness of the importance of preserving and protecting the world we live. One-use culture is still rife, but the intention to repurpose, reuse and restyle is present and ever emerging. I am excited to explore these possibilities in repurposing resources I already have available to me. All of my yarns used for my samples are taken from charity shop knits and past projects, to ensure I am also using what is already available, and reducing my waste from combined projects.

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