Developing my samples further (SM)


In the textiles module everyone seemed to be getting really creative, making loads of fantastic samples however I was still sitting in my comfort zone, creating samples with only one or two processes and they needed to be a little more interesting for them to stand out from the others. After adding more processes to my samples there was more depth which gave it a completely new appearance.

I was really happy with my development today as it enabled me to realise that exciting samples can be created without pushing the boundaries too far however it was quite challenging for me and at times i felt quite nervous incase the samples got ruined. It was definitely worth trying though as my experience in printing has improved vastly and I am pleased with my success.



Developing my success…


Handpainted flock: i think for future reference it would be better for me to use a lighter blue, as it is a bit dark and became a bit overpowering for my samples which are much lighter and more pastel than this, as i have a fixative in this dye i might wash a small sample of the flock with the dye on it to see if it becomes a little lighter.


I really, really hate this sample, i think i done a bit too much to it, i should have held back on flocking but this sample was mainly to see if it would work by flocking first, after my disaster on the previous sample. I chose the wrong flock though, i should have used a plain one and focused more on the positioning of my screen to make it more central, i’m quite disappointed that i ruined this sample to be honest, but it’s something to refer back to, it would be really nice with just the iridescent foil over the discharged surface. It would have also been interesting to add some acid dye to the surface too in small marks.


Paper which was underneath my fabric when i painted on to it. It seeped through and actually made some beautiful prints, i’m going to keep these in my sketchbook as elements of these would make nice digital prints and it would be interesting to see in the future.


Today i thought it would be a good idea to just bust out a load of samples and get them steamed, it was actually a really good idea, because i have now got myself a range of simple samples for next lesson to work on so that i can work towards a final design, although i’m pretty sure what i’m going to do, a few more samples wont hurt as i might change my mind. I’m really happy with these samples and they turned out a lot better than i thought as i was worried before i steamed them as they didn’t look that great, i can’t wait to work on to them and use different processes for development and see which ones are successful and which ones aren’t.

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Finally, a success!

I was really beginning to lose hope with this scarf malarchy, i was at a loose end until i had a module review with Will, who made me feel really good about my development. We looked back at some of my unsuccessful samples and we spoke about how i could make them better. I narrowed it down to one sample, which was one that i had painted dye directly on to the fabric and discharged over the top, this was an impulse, quick sample in which i believed wouldn’t work (it didn’t really) but i thought i’d give it another try anyway. It was grubby, and i came to a conclusion that this was probably because i didn’t wash the dye out of the fabric before i discharged it, so it all mixed together and just simply became a disaster really.

So that afternoon after evaluating my samples i decided to get into the print room to try and make something successful. By the end of the day i’d produced three new samples, i’d had a breakthrough. I was working slowly and assessing my work carefully before applying anything as i really wanted it to work. I drew on to my fabric which i tried on an extremely wet surface, a damp surface and a dry surface, just to see the difference between them, the wet surface bled a lot, maybe too much, especially after pressing it but i would need to experiment more with this technique to see what i preferred, however i think im swaying more towards a dry surface.


These were my samples to begin with, after i had discharged and pressed them, at first i thought they hadn’t worked, but the different is insane after you wash and dry them. They were amazing on their own but i knew i needed to add more, after all they’re only samples, that’s what they’re for isnt it?

So i decided that i would keep one as it is, and i kept the clearest one with the whitest discharge. The other two i decided to select parts of my screen to acid dye in black, just small marks so that it wouldn’t overpower the sample. Then over the top of the acid dye i printed foil glue and foiled both of them in two different designs, one of the samples i also flocked mostly in white and a little bit of black, unfortunately the black flock got stuck to the foil glue and ruined the sample, however the third sample this worked in my favour as it created slight flocking over my design, and i actually think this completed it, but in future if i want a neat design with clear flocking, then i should flock before i foil. I absolutely love my last sample and am already thinking of using it as a final idea, although it’s not my initial idea from my paper samples. I am just extatic that i have found something that works and looks beautiful even if it has taken three weeks of development, i can’t wait to start my scarf and i’m hoping to make up a big screen next week. I will definitely consider digital print at the end of this year and the third year because i believe that my paper samples would be a real success when transferred on to fabric.


Initial ideas for Scarf Project

At this point I felt as though i’d hit a brick wall, I arrived at lesson and just sat thinking about how i could transfer my designs on to fabrics, seeings as everything i was attempting was a huge fail, it wasn’t working in the way that i’d hoped, all i wanted was for my designs to bleed.

I’d tried everything: from applying bleach to fabric, watered down discharge, wet surfaces… surely there was nothing else? could it be that i can’t produce my paper designs in a fabric form? I was getting really agitated by this scarf, but the more i got angry the more it made me want to succeed, therefore i moved on to making some small designs, as i haven’t yet exposed my big screen.


After creating a few small designs it was frustating because i already had in my mind exactly what i wanted to make, but because everything was restricting me to create this i had to think of something else. I sat there for a while staring at my page and my current samples, there were a few that i quite liked but most of them were unsuccessful and no where near what i was hoping to create.

In my designs i have focused mainly on large scale, i have a tendancy to do this, and i have tried to draw myself away from this but it seems to come naturally. However, large scale designs on a scarf may look at bit too much whereas smaller scale will be easier to recognise, especially when the fabric is folded and creased when it’s worn therefore i really need to focus and try harder to create something smaller scale.

Guest Visit: Bridget Stanford

Today we had a guest visit from Bridget Stanford, I have always been intrigued by this woman because I know her neice, Miranda. Miranda was in my class in the Foundation Diploma and was always really good at what she did, I always used to ask her questions about her work and she would reply ‘my auntie showed me…’ therefore I knew that her auntie had a creative job.

Last year I worked at Patisserie Valerie, which seemed to be one of Bridget’s favourite places for afternoon tea… At first I had no clue who she was until she visited with Miranda, she always stood out like a sore thumb anyway because of what she wore, it was amazing, really elegant, vintage clothing in bright colours. It’s ususual to see people wearing attire like that these days.


I was just in the studio one day and had no idea that Bridget was visiting, I saw a load of her clothing on a rail and recognised it, then i looked through her sketchbooks. I probably wouldn’t have stuck around for so long if it wasn’t her who was visiting, shes just so interesting.

Her sketchbooks were filled with beautiful drawings and patterns in a range of media, a lot of them were unfinished which showed the technical qualities and creative abilities of the drawings. Personally, the drawings came across as something quite dated and would never be something that I would choose to use for textile design myself however I can definitely see how they’re successful and I could tell the sort of audience that she was aiming her designs at, she is a vintage collector so her designs are quite clearly influenced by her own tastes and vintage fashion.




Psychoanalysis and fashion GM

Notes from the lecture:

  • dress: how much clothing is appropriate in civilised society?
  • clothes hide and draw attention
  • comfortable, attractive and affordable
  • will never suit everyones taste – everyone is different
  • outfit planning
  • clothes can disguise or hide parts of your body that you are uncomfortable with
  • clothing is a compromising formation
  • men need women to be clothed because the womans naked body is too frightening – powerful
  • fashion influences race, gender, class, sexuality and identity
  • Nick Knight:Picture1
  • Jean Baudrillard 1981: ‘Truly beautiful, definitively beautiful clothing would put an end to fashion….Fashion continually fabricates the beautiful on the basis of a radical denial of beauty, by reducing beauty to the logical equivalent of ugliness. It can impose the most eccentric, dysfunctional, ridiculous traits as eminently distinctive
  • Roland Barthes ‘The intermittence of skin flashing between two articles of clothing –trousers and sweater – between two edges the open necked shirt the glove and the sleeve: it is this flash that seduces or rather: the staging of an appearance – as – disappearance
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  • seduction?
  • what’s your opinion?
  • how much sexuality is engaged?
  • legs, back, shoulder, structured bra, cleavage, underwear as outerwear, waistline, bottom
  • underwear – public or private dress?
  • sex – erotic fashion
  • fetish – neutralises fear
  • women may seek erotic arousal through the way they dress
  • it is not necesscary to show large amounts of human flesh, rather you should play hide and seek with the body
  • Comme des Garcon 2014 – sculpting fabric around the body
  •  commes-des-garcons-rtw-ss2014-runway-17_17074718838.jpg_article_singleimage

I felt as though the lecture today was useful, as it lead on from Jeremy’s lecture last week, and from that i understood. However, this lecture was more relevant to what i am doing as it was actually based on fashion, and even though i made a few points last week which were included in this lecture i felt as though it gave me even more of an insight.

The first question ‘how much clothing is acceptable?’ was interesting to me, because i see girls of about 18-23 parading around town on a saturday night in next to nothing, me being one of them probably. You never know what other people are thinking, there could be men in their 80’s having fantasies over young girls, especially in tiny amounts of clothing. However, i think if people are comfortable wearing it and don’t mind people having these thoughts about them then they should go ahead.

I do think however that clothing is a comfort blanket, it is suited to everyones needs and everyone buys something to their taste. When i was a bigger size than i am now i liked to buy bigger, oversized clothing but now i am a small size 8/10 i like to show off what i have with tighter fitting clothes because i am proud of the weight loss i have achieved, however i am still concious of some areas of my body which i prefer to keep covered as i’m sure every one does but you can always tell who the confident individuals are by the way the dress and by the way they present themselves, they like to be seen.

Textile Support Module Reviews

I was really un-motivated when i walked into my textiles module today, we had module reviews and i was really nervous about what Will would say because i didn’t have many samples, nor had i annotated them or got much research, but i was really stuck on what to look for and how to annotate.

Throughout the lesson i tried to avoid having my module review and wanted to get a few more samples done so i felt like i had made the most out of my studio time. I mixed up a black dye with 20g dye powder and 3 litres of water, i have mixed up black dye before and left fabric in there for an hour and it still isnt completely black so i added a bit of dark brown dye powder to see if that worked, i left the wool in there for 30 minutes and it was an intense black after i’d washed it out and dried it. I was really pleased that i’d experimented with the dye and produced the colour that i wanted, as i can now use this in both modules.

I feel really confident in using the recipes in the print room as Louise taught me on Thursday how to do it all properly, and as i put everything together myself i learned as i went along. I have been mixing up my own dyes and discharge pastes for the last few lessons and soon i’ll probably be able to do it without using the book, it’s nice when my classmates ask me how to mix something up and i know how to do it.

I made a few prints and steamed them for 20 minutes before the lesson ended, i was sure they weren’t going to be as nice as they were when they came out of the steamer but they were actually beautiful samples, they looked completely different. The colour discharge and clear discharge came out really well, as the samples weren’t in the steamer for long they didn’t process completely which is what i wanted so i think 20-30 minutes is a perfect time for my samples.

At the end of the lesson i had 7 really lovely new samples, one in which was my favourite, i had devored and dyed black but not left it in the dye for long so it was grey, and then discharge printed in a different image on the back, the discharge through the devore was nice, however on the side of the sample the discharge had bled and looked so nice, i really liked this so im going to dye devore without devore paste and try discharging on the back to see if this happens on the whole sample.

I was surprised with what Will said to me as he said he was really pleased with the work that i had done, he said it’s definitely quality over quantity unlike last year and he said i was definitely producing that, i know that i need to work on my research and annotate my file before it starts becoming over whelming, so i am going to use my time this week to do this.