Step One

Research and Ideas –The first step towards my garment design for the Fairly Fashionable? Challenge is to gather all the information, look at all the possibilities.

Information about the fabrics I receivedFF1 003 The Bag – Nurturing Threads who donated this fabric recently ceased trading after 10 years of selling Tabitha Foundation silk. The donation is from leftover stock being passed from one the producer, to Nurturing Threads to you, the designer.Tabitha Foundation’s mission is to enable the Cambodian people they work with to recognize and develop inherent skills and resources – in a way that brings dignity and respect with the people we work with, in Cambodia and the world. A goal is to see a result in measurable and visible improvement in the lifestyles of the people we work with.Tabitha’s vision is to develop processes that enable people to actively make their own choices in alleviation of poverty. This fabric is hand-woven, hand-dyed, silk. The dyed silk thread is spun by hand onto bobbins and spools of differing sizes ready for the setting up of the loom. This task is usually carried out underneath the village houses and often all members of the family are involved in some way. The silk thread is finally woven into plain or patterned silks. It takes one day to weave 1 metre of plain coloured silk. Patterned silks take longer depending on the complexity of the pattern.Weaving is only carried out by the most experienced. It is a skill that is passed from generation to generation – grandmothers teach mothers and mothers teach daughters the art of weaving.

FF1 001The Shirt – Anjel Ms is an ethical fashion project created in 2008 by Gaelle Beech.Working with disadvantaged communities in Bali, Nepal and India the project creates garments showcasing traditional textiles, nurturing the heritage of these communities while giving them lasting work
opportunities and linking them with emerging designers.
THE FABRIC – These batik cotton sarongs are handpainted by Balinese communitites using their traditional techniques.
Firstly, a cloth is washed, soaked and beaten with a large mallet. Patterns are drawn with pencil and later redrawn using hot wax, usually made from a mixture of paraffin or bees wax, sometimes mixed with plant resins, which functions as a dye-resist. The wax can be applied with a variety of tools. The reservoir holds the resist which flows through the spout, creating dots and lines as it moves. For larger patterns, a stiff brush may be used. Alternatively, a copper block stamp called a cap is used to cover large areas more efficiently. After the cloth is dry, the resist is removed by scraping or boiling the cloth. The areas treated with resist keep their original colour; when the resist is removed the contrast between the dyed and undyed areas forms the pattern. This process is repeated as many times as the number of colours desired.

Books – A selection from my bookshelves that may be referred to if I become a bit stuck.Resources

Process – I spent most of friday evening carefully unpicking the shirt. I unpicked the seams rather than cut at the edge just incase I needed those extra few centimetres to squeeze in a pattern piece. By the time I got to the bag though, rather tired, I just cut close to the seams. I’ve kept all the shirt buttons, logos and labels, bag straps etc. you never know…Ironed and pinned to my board I can now see what I have to work with.

DeconstructedlabelsGathering materials -The fabrics we have been supplied with for this challenge, were never going to be enough to make a whole garment. Only upcycled, recycled, vintage and ethically sourced fabrics can be incorporated into the design. A good rummage around my studio I found a variety of fabrics I may be able to use.

Fabric selectionI also found this abandoned project, it has a similar motif to the shirt fabric.Sample 1Shirt detail 4These pieces made from recycled sari silk.Sample 2 A broach I made several years ago, Broachsimilar to…Shirt detail 1This is the original stamp I used to create the broach. It is from a plastic lace table cloth.Stamp

This lead me to look at other motifs on the shirt fabric Shirt detail 2The dots. Could I incorporate a print of bubble wrap or upscale by using cork sized dots?Bubble wrapCork stampAll just ideas at this stage.




2 thoughts on “Step One

  1. Great description of your thought processes – and good to see the links you’ve made to tools and materials you already have on hand (good thing too considering the time constraints!).

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