EXERCISE – Manipulating the surface quality – Evaluation


Q – What did you set out to do?

I needed to experiment with manufactured fabrics and my own samples to change the surface quality of each using what I had learnt about finishing techniques and manipulation. I wanted to use a variety of ideas and mix them together where appropriate.

Q – How did you develop your samples to your final idea?

After just 2 samples using manufactured fabrics I knew to end up with something more unique the starting fabric needed to be something I had created so I quickly moved on to that using samples and items that I had made for previous projects. I knew I had to be brave and take a leap of faith but I didn’t find it a worry really as the samples I was using all needed further development anyway. I liked different aspects of the samples I had developed further and so I was able to get these to work together quite happily in the final piece. I used a nuno felt scarf ( wet felting) sample that wasn’t quite right when I made it some time ago but held onto it for “recycling”. This combined silk organza and merino wool tops and although I liked the technique I didn’t like the large awkwardly placed felt circles so it was a good choice to use to develop further. From some of the samples I took the embellishment technique of needle felting the sheer with the felt and folding and tucking it whilst using the embellisher and encouraging it to form pockets and ruffles. The pockets I felt were important to add dimension to the piece but also to echo the circles underneath. To secure in place fully and to add more interest I created some circular machine stitching in 2 colours and further manipulated it by burning through the darker circles.

Q – What problems did you encounter along the way?

With one of the kunin felt samples I over heated the fabric sandwich and lost the bubble effect. That was a sample I had made for the new materials part of the section but never used it as I didn’t like it very much but I did like the bubble effect and was disappointed that it hadn’t worked so set about making another. The second one worked far better. The technique was the same but was much more controlled so the kunin felt has kept some of the softness and fabric quality. I also broken some needles and learnt very quickly how expensive they are !!

Q – What would you do differently another time?

I didn’t try all the techniques that I wanted to and I would have liked to have tried some chemical treatment ones. After I had made my samples I came across and interesting chapter in a book that described some treatments that are possible to do at home but due to their caustic nature I wasn’t comfortable trailing it unless I had sufficient space and time within a domestic situation. I have to consider this due to my caring responsibilities for a child with special needs.

Scanned otes are included in my learning log for future reference – Techniques for surface quality  – Creating texture

Q – How well do you feel your final piece succeeds?

I am happy with my final sample as I feel it combines the parts that I liked from of my previous samples. I really enjoyed using the fabric embellisher to fuse the sheer fabric and felt together and appreciated being able to use this technique in conjunction with the sample of wet felting technique. I am happy that I have thought the deisgn through and repeated the circle theme through the layers of techniques.The sample works best when it is held up so the light can filter through it, only then can you appreciate the nuno felting process properly.

Q – How might you develop the idea in future?

An idea of further developing this might be to add some hand stitching French knots or even small beads but I at this point I felt it would be too fussy. Generally speaking I would have liked to have made more samples and tried all the messy techniques also but I have to set limitations in order to move on to the next part.

Q – Anything else that it might be useful for your tutor to know

I felt at ease whist creating these samples and I think that’s probably because having investigated the fabrics and techniques earlier I had an understanding how certain fabrics might respond to a treatment. There is never an end to the learning though and sampling could have continued further.

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