Posts tagged ‘Textile’

February 17, 2012

Friday Fieldtrip::Mary Jo’s Fabric

by heatherkp

This place is huge and has an amazing selection!  It’s a bit south of Charlotte and I went on my most recent trip while visiting a friend.  I’ve seen a lot of textile stores but this one impressed my by the sheer volume and selection!  There were your typical calico’s, suiting fabrics, upholstery, patterns, etc…but there were some jem’s hidden in those rolls!

They also had a wonderful selection of bridal and evening wear laces and silks at pretty reasonable prices.

We (a fellow textile design friend and I) totally loved one particular line of printed upholstery textiles by Spanish company Textiles Vilber.  They were whimsical, large in scale, funky, fun, bright and playful as well as well designed!  As we walked by the US textile upholstery manufactures designs we just wondered why we can’t design better, more original designs here domestically?

Circus

Mock Crewel

Grafiti

Tarot Cards

Frogs

Snakes

And Paper Dolls! Oh My!

Trim

Buttons…

And a whole lot of NEON!

Mary Jo’s is worth a trip if you are in the area and I spotted the infamous lady in the store, her reputation precedes her!  She certainly knows how to run a fabric shop!

October 4, 2011

Textile Tuesday::Experiments with Bits of Cloth and Thread

by heatherkp

 

In the midst of the moving madness I’ve managed to continue to do a bit of textile work.  Expanding upon my rust experiments I’ve done some scarf dying.

This is a detail of one end of a long narrow scarf.  I am so intrigued by the metallic shades, rainbows and oxidation that occurs on the fabrics.  The effect here partially washed away after I rinsed the fabric.

I’m embarking upon the exploration of natural dying, slowly trying to learn a bit more about it because I’ve never really done much of it but am now very interested.  It seems a natural progression bringing together my interests in gardening, sustainability and textiles.  I’ve started with onion skin collected (from my local CSA) over the last couple years (because I don’t need to MOVE them!), both yellow and red.

I got a variety of hues and shades on both fabric and yarn varying from a green gold to a warm pale brown.  I experimented with silk, cotton, wool and linen and used alum as a mordant.

I’ve also been experimenting with the process of natural dying via bundling bits of dirt, bark, lichen, leaves and other debris in fabric Ala India Flint.  These experiments haven’t been tremendously successful but it’s new and fascinating to me so I’m enjoying the process.  I think it’s time I get India’s Book “Eco Color” though so I don’t waste too much time and fabric in the learning process.  I did have some faint success with fern leaves and with mud so far though.

Finally I’ve been trying my hand with a little textile and mixed media assemblage.  This is a work in progress that I’m playing around with.

…PS…Knitting season has returned (I usually put down the needles in the summer) so I’ve picked up the needles again and have a couple projects going (they are gifts so I can’t show them yet).

 

August 18, 2011

Of my own design…

by heatherkp

I spotted the news from a friend that Spoonflower is having a free sample day today.  I’ve toyed with the idea of printing up some of my designs from time to time but I never did because I don’t know what I’d “do” with them.  The “free” part made it pretty easy to decide to just go ahead and do it.  I already have designs that are print ready in my archive collection, so why not see how one comes out?

I choose to sample this design and it will be fun to see what comes of this.  The free sample give away also has an option to donate $5 (or more) to Heifer International, which is one of my favorite charities.  This is ongoing for the rest of tonight until 12 EST tomorrow so hurry and get your sample while making a donation (optional) to a great organization.

 

February 8, 2011

Textile Tuesday::Provencal

by heatherkp

While I was in Provence of course I was keeping my eyes open for Textiles.  I love the way the French incorporate their more traditional textiles into their contemporary lifestyle.There were lacy curtains in almost all the residential home windows.  Don’t you just love this cap?  I didn’t see anyone wearing them but I wonder if anyone still does.  This cap was just hanging on an exterior door knob.

I’m always amazed with the laundry hanging in most foreign countries.  I personally hang most of my laundry but it France, Italy and many other countries there are apparatus built into daily lifestyle to make it easier to just hang laundry right out your windows, Love that!

There seems to be a huge market for the more traditional Provencal textiles with embroidery and traditional motifs.  I wonder if it’s strictly a tourist market or if the local’s use these in their every day life.

This little fabric bucket is adorable, love the way they incorporate subtle hearts into so many of their textiles.

This window just caught my eye probably because of the layers of the sheer fabric and the lovely blue iron grates over top.

This last photo is from Marseilles and the knot work on this ship rope is just truly impressive!

Do you like traditional French Provencal Textiles such as linens, lace, embroidery and traditional French Provencal motifs?

January 28, 2011

Fiber Friday

by heatherkp

Happy Friday!  This has been a relaxing week and we’ve finally gotten some real snow.  As I sit here writing this there is snow on the ground and more falling.  Due to the snow this week I was unable to get out for my weekly field trip so today I’ll bring you some fibery goodness from around the web.  These are some of my all time favorite fiber artists (not an extensive list though).  I hope I’ve shared a few new artist and designers with you here, or some old favorites.  All photos are courtesy of the individual designers and artist websites and if you click the photo’s you will be directed to their sites.

Spirit Cloth Stitched and Quilted Textile

Red 2 White Scarf

Alabama Chanin Pillow

Betz White New Scarf

Elyse Allen Knit Textiles

Anne Kyyro Quinn Textile Installations

Jeung-Hwa Park Shibori Knits

Tinctory Fiber Jewelry

January 25, 2011

Techinique Tuesday::Folds and Pleats

by heatherkp

I’ve been quite obsessed lately with folding and pleating.  Through my research I’ve been so inspired by some of the creations I’ve come across in both fabric and paper (as well as other materials).

Folds and Pleats on Pinterest

Once again I’ve put together a collection of folded and pleated images that inspire me over at Pinterest (I LOVE that site!).  Click on the image to take you to the sources.  On Saturday I decided I would sit down and learn how to fold an Oragami Crane.  This is one of those things that’s been on my creative To-Do-Learn list for years.  I folded 7 cranes to start with (somewhere I heard that if you repeat something 7 times it sticks).By the end of the day I had it memorized and was able to demonstrate it for my family while we were at dinner waiting for our food to arrive.  I gave this crane to my mom who promptly turned it into some other unique form of bird by manipulating it a bit more, gee, wonder where I get my creativity from?

Here are a few other creations I’ve been playing with in both fabric (and ribbon) and paper that use techniques of folding and pleating to transform a two dimensional surface into a three dimensional form.  I wasn’t very good at math or geometry in school but if it had been taught to me via creative devices such as paper folding I think I might have been a lot more interested!This textile Aris cabinet designed by Moritz Schmid for Swiss manufacturer, Pfister captured me!  I’d love to incorporate more textiles into my home by perhaps collaborating one day with my husband since he loves wood working!

Have you ever tried oragami or using folds and pleats in your art or design work?

January 21, 2011

Field Trip Friday::Oasis @ The Textile Museum

by heatherkp

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

I went to check this show out last week with a friend.  We had also intended to go to the Phillips Collection which was FREE to the public last weekend to celebrate their 90th, but alas the line was insanely long so that didn’t happen!  It was okay because I’d had this exhibit on my to-see list for way too long.  I admit that sometimes I take the Textile Museum for granted and don’t get as excited about some of the more traditional exhibits, boy was I wrong about this one!  I just thought it would be another nice Ikat exhibit (right~ you know I’m a textile designer when I say that) but it was so much better than I had anticipated!  Look at the COLORS, wow!  No wonder they called it Colors of the Oasis.

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

This exhibit showcases 19th century Ikats from central Asia.  The collection (of over 200 Ikats but not all are on view was donated to the Textile Museum by collector  Murad Megalli.  This is the first time this collection has been on view for the public and many of the pieces were beautifully restored.

Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (image copyright The Textile Museum)

They chose such a fantastic color for the walls to offset this collection.  I can’t say I’ve ever really noticed the walls at an art exhibit but this color really does the collection justice.  These warp ikat designs are characterized by vibrant colors (with a lot of primary’s used) and bold, rather large scale motif’s with quite a bit of contrast.

Colors of The Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (copyright The Textile Museum)

I would love to really be able to study the motifs and color combination’s used more closely, it was so inspiring.  It’s no wonder these magnificent textiles were a sign of prestige and status in the Oasis towns of Central Asia.  Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats (copyright The Textile Museum)The exhibit also featured a small display and video explaining the technique and process used to create warp Ikat designs.  These were contributed by students at MICA’s Fibers department.  The exhibit is also accompanied by an in depth exhibit catalog (that I would LOVE to have!).  I’ve been a member of The Textile Museum for the past 5 years and I’d greatly encourage you to donate or join if you are inclined to value the research and exhibitions in textiles that this world class museum provides.

January 11, 2011

Textile::Tuesday

by heatherkp


I’m excited to share the latest completed textile commission I delivered to clients on Sunday.   This piece was commissioned to fit into a 2 story entrance area in a home that’s design is influenced by Victorian era elements.  I discussed the colors, size and overall feel that the client wanted.  The chandelier and fabric below are a couple of the main elements of design influence.  I wanted to use the peacock feather motif and the colors from the fabric.

I initially did these sketches to get ideas down and then choose materials.  Over the last 6 months or so I’ve worked at the piece at times knowing clearly what I wanted to do an at other times I let the piece sit while I figured out technical or  creative challenges I needed to solve.

A project like this is so rewarding because it challenges you to step into someone else design aesthetic while remaining true to your personal design style.  I knew that this client liked my weaving’s but without my loom set up currently, I was left to find another medium to work with. 

I choose to work elements of weaving into this piece by using the long hand dyed fringe as a major design component.  I also used a subtle toile fabric as the background and selectively  painted motifs that were inspired by a collection of hand colored etchings the client has.  I used layers of sheer fabric bringing in both color and metallic sheen.  Layers of texture are a common theme in my work and this piece ended up having 3 layers of fabric, 1 layer of fringe, feathers and embellishments including stitching and beading.  They were thrilled, I was thrilled and I was thrilled that they were thrilled!  My husband was thrilled to have our dining room table back available for use!

January 6, 2011

Threads::One World One Cloth

by heatherkp

Back in 2001 shortly after 9-11 The Thread Project’s founder, Terry Helwig had the vision to collect and weave together threads for panels representing the 7diverse continents of the world,.  Her vision was quickly turned into reality when a weaver friend offered to weave one of the first panels and help her to get the word out to find other weavers.  I was lucky enough to be invited in 2002 to be one of the weavers for this fantastic global peace keeping project.  The first cloth woven “Hope Materializing”  consists of 7 purple warp panels (each woven by a different weaver) and the weft threads came from across the globe.  I also worked as a “thread ambassador” and along with a local social studies teacher we collected threads from his students and the project was used as a teaching aide for Dave’s class.  I then wove these together with other threads collected from around the world.

Each of the 7 cloths is a different color, has a different title and represents a different message all signifying the overall message that there can be unity in diversity.  “This fabric of humanity, woven from the bits and pieces of people’s lives, offers a rich and textured experience. The cloths, imbued with a resonance analogous to the great tapestry of life, identify the common thread running through humanity: All people love, hope, dream and hurt.”-Terry Helwig, Founder

I am sharing this now because this year marks the 10 year anniversary of 9-11 and I hope that this project can be a symbol of how such a global world can be united in diversity.  A new Facebook page has been created for the project in hopes of connecting with those many people who were weavers, thread ambassadors, contributors or viewers of this powerful project.  Please share this project with others and help us to connect the threads.

The Thread Project: One World One Cloth still needs a permanent home, if you know of an agency or organization that might be a good match please get in touch through the website, the Facebook page or here in the comments.

 

December 21, 2010

Spotlight::Our American Textile Heritage~Churchill Weavers

by heatherkp

Advertisement showing the front exterior of the Churchill Weavers loomhouse.

Before weaving begins, a warp or vertical the threads of the loom must be made. Weft threads are woven through the warp threads using the loom and shuttle. ca. 1928

 

Churchill Weaver’s stereocard advertisement, style 15319R.

I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to work for some US textile manufacturing facilities my career, some of which are no longer in existence and some that no longer manufacture in the US.  Starting right out of college I landed a job at one of the oldest and finest Hand weaving mills in the US.  I’m speaking of the late Churchill Weavers of Berea, KY.  Once so valued for their products that the US military spared wool rations so they could weave woolen undergarments for our military men.  It greatly depresses me to see their beautifully woven products now being sold as “rare” on Ebay!  There were a number of factors that went into the final outcome of Churchill’s doors being closed forever but they didn’t go down without a long battle.  Historical textiles from their archives were salvaged and donated to the Kentucky Historical Society.  They have compiled quite an amazing online Archive, accessible to anyone!

Churchill Weaver’s stereocard advertisement, style 15451.

Woven Panel made by Churchill Weavers and Designed by Gerhardt Knodel ca. 1978

One of the valuable lessons I learned working at Churchill is that there is no substitution for learning about business and technical data at a facility that manufactures rather than being miles and oceans away from the products you design.  If you’d like more information on the fascinating history of Churchill, please check out this blog.  A limited selection of baby blankets with original Churchill designs are available here.  I’m proud to share below a few of the items I had a part in designing!

I knew when I graduated from college in 1998 with a degree in Fibers (textile design) that it would not be an easy career choice.  I headed ambitiously into the profession knowing that the beginning of the end (as I had come to understand it) was already in sight.  Shortly after graduating I started seeing the full effects of the “global”market’s influence on the industry.  First the mills began to run shorter shifts, sell off machinery and start to outsource manufacturing to foreign mills.   Within the first 5 years of my career I had gone from designing for high end luxury goods manufactured in the USA to designing mass produced goods being imported.  I had a hard time with the ethics of this but I needed to stay employed and by then I was beginning to see my friends design jobs being eliminated as their companies not only shut down manufacturing facilities but started to hire off site designers and design studios in other countries.  I started to see another trend that was quite maddening.  Before I say more this observation is not singularly in regards to the textile industry.  It is the mis-informed “American way” to throw something way when it’s broken (or just worn out)! So often we don’t er trying to fix it because it seems far easier and cheaper to just start all over.  This is so maddening!  Can’t we learn from those around us who have invested so much time and energy to make something special?  Okay, sometimes new life needs to be blown in but there is often so much we can learn from these establishments.

It was also about this time (early 21st cent) I really became aware of the “Indy craft” movement.  I started seeing all sorts of crafters, makers and designers pop up on the http://www.  In response to this I also saw a few new kinds of manufacturing facilities in the US who were responding to the needs of these independent makers.  I’m speaking of textile print on demand (such as Spoonflower and others) and weaving mills in particular but I’m sure there are lots of other examples by now.  This was very encouraging to me on the one hand but also frustrating because we had already begun to loose so many older manufacturers.  I often think that if the two generations had found a way to communicate with one another some very unique solutions could have come about and kept some companies afloat.  I do think that there are some companies in the industry who did respond in this manner and I see them now as established and valued but also aware of new and upcoming trends.  My request to you is this; if you are a maker, manufacturer, lover of all things handmade and you are working in the US please consider the source of your purchase and support our US heritage of manufacturing. We can’t bring back these historic and iconic facilities but we can learn so much from them by informing ourselves and making the most of our purchases now.