Wednesday, 28 March 2012


Here are some fabric samples I created yesterday in the print room, using watered down reactive dyes with soda ash (as it makes the ink stick!) and foil layered over for a texture reminiscent of gold leaf, which I think clashes well with the fresh and vibrant colours. The pink is my favourite; I chose to dye organza, which turned out really vibrant and I like the cracks of sheer luminosity throung the metallic gold. I think these would be good fabrics to patchwork with.

The dyed blue fabric I also tried to marble using batik wax and coverig the newly dyed blue fabric, then cracking the wax and painting black reactive dye over the fabric. This didn't turn out as dense as I expected, but I like the shade it has turned out. By accident with the pink sample, I screened the glue over the organza which was over newspaper, losing all common sense and forgetting I was also sticking the newspaper to the reverse of the fabric. This was near impossible to get off, but I think I could achieve some interesting effects using collaged photography behind a sheer, dyed fabric using foil glue. I achieved the crackled effect on both samples by scrunching up the foil sheets before I ironed them on, removing some of the metallic pigment.

Here is also a sample of some dip-dyeing I tried inspired by shibori, where I folded the fabric and grasped it between a clamp, and dipped one side of the fabric into a black dye mixtue I had created using reactive dyes. I also made sure my fabric was wet before I dyed the darker parts, so the ink traveled further and softer. I really like the efffects of this, and think it would be worth experimenting with in my more developed samples.

Monday, 26 March 2012


Here are some images of my friend Lusi modelling some garments from a recent past project, which I decided to base on Warhol's 'Silver Factory' scene and looking at the glamour and grit of Edie Sedgwick, with a 1920's fshion twist. I think it one of my strongest projects, so I will use similar techniques such as applique, foil printing and being experimental with embellishment in my FMP to ensure I get a strong outcome :) originally I was going to couch small feathers on the lower lashes of the eye-print border using thick gold metallic thread, but unfornunately I ran out of time!


Today I learnt that waterproof plastic which you use to make up rain macs is infact made from water-based PVA glue, only dried and flattened! Based on this, I have started a couple of glue experiments by throwing in some vibrant inks and brass bits and pieces, which has gave exciting textured results.

The black Indian ink in the top sample prevents the colours for being too bright, and I have also rubbed green metallic foil over the sample after it had comletely dried, as the tackiness will hold onto the foil. I really like the rich turquoise peacock colours with gold, and I also plan to add coral to my colour pallet. The gold and coral sample didn't work so well, as I think it is too 'golden yellow' for my pallet, so would have probably also benefitted from some black Indian ink too. I think the blue sample could be developed further and would work well appliqued or cut into shapes and melted onto fabrics.

Sunday, 25 March 2012


I was looking at the recent Central Saint Martins MA collection at LFW, and the designs of Luke Brooks caught my eye. The extent of different textures in his work looks very experimental but pulled together which gives a luxurious feel, and I love the fact his work is very unpredictable. He has used a variety of dried acrylic paints, rope, yarns, found objects and fringing amognst different dying techniques and lots of layering, and I find it inspirational for development ideas.

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Today I recieved my free foil samples from 'Foilco' ( and they sent loads! I am so excited to start using them :) Im going to screen print them, layer them and crackle them up to get a gold-leaf effect, and basically get as much out of them as I can. My only regret is that I didn't realise the types of foil they sell, as it's not on the website and the shade card I requested is full of gorgeous colours.

I've tried to scan in the shade card, but being metallic they all came up black, but there are all sorts of metallic shades as well as clear, rainbow, black and gold/silver marble (which I really wish I knew about!), american flag, holographic and oily metallic textures. If anybody wants to request free foils, I would reccomend asking for the shade card first because it's something I regret!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Also here is a brilliant website I found with cheap Swarovski crystals, different chains and beads and also lots of guides on different techniques - brilliant for samples! It's acually a jewellery-making site but the same techniques and detail could be applied if you wanted to create something decorative.


Today as part of Final Major Project, I took part in workshops involving bonding fabrics through heat and pressure, and I also tried a spot of marbling using procien dyes, as I thought it would create interesting experimental textures which would make great backgrounds.

Here I have cut an acetate photocopy of a film still from 'Cleopatra' which I watched, and I have placed the roughly cut shapes in the style of mosaic, which I think reflects the theme well. Also the contrast of weight and texture between the thick twill and glossy acetate work well together. To retain the luminosity of the colours and still keep a rick background, I bonded onto cream then applied dyes after, which the acetate resisted. The futuristic feel of the sample was quite unexpected, but strangely links perfectly with a current exhibition at the 'Tullie House Museum' which presents Egyptian myths including whether or not pyramids were built by aliens! I think this technique of fusing fabrics together is very relevant for my project intentions, as I believe it will help develop exciting and contemporary textile accessories, and it is similar to the recent collection from 'Simone Rocha', who uses silks and lace trapped in clear PVC.

Here are some samples of some marbling I tried on both fabric and cartridge paper.

I really like the effect as it looks slightly distressed yet visually striking, and it is this type of rough texture I wanted to screen print foils onto. The 'foilco' website ( will send free samples on request, so I have asked for gold, black, clear and also any peacock-looking coloured metallic foil to be sent, which I will be using over these backgrounds. I originally wanted to achive a streaky tie-dye effect similar to the Vivienne Westwood bag shown below, so hopefully experimentation in next weeks workshop will help me to achieve this.

Thursday, 8 March 2012


As I have chosen to look at Ancient Egypt and Grunge for my Final Major Project, I am going to watch the Cleopatra film starring Elizabeth Taylor. Although the film drags slightly (it lasts four hours!), it is full of stunning imagery and detail. Here are a few examples of where I will draw my inspiration from:

I think that the gorgeous metallics and heirogliphics of Ancient Egypt will work particularly well with typical worn out grunge fabrics such as bleached denim and faded tie-dyes. I'm still in the initial stages but I'm already excited at seeing the project unfold!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


Yesterday I presented a business pitch to a panel of entrepreneurs, including millionnaire Roy Stanley, as part of a local competition to win a business startup which includes £5000 and professional help. My business idea is to create unique accessories for clothing made from recycled materials, and sold at an affordable price, and I will find out in the next few nerve-wracking weeks if I am one of the few lucky winners!

Here are some examples of designers who inspired me with the idea:



...and fingers crossed!