Preferred/unusual swatches and Manipulated fabrics

There was an assignment set to manipulate materials in as many ways as possible, to highlight any unique or preferred properties, but mainly just an experimental excersise for the beginning of term.

Freezing Fabrics. Here using stitch and tear, a paper like fabric used to back material when stitching, easy to tear and manipulate, as well as a nylon fabric similar to that used for parachutes. Scrunching up fabric to make and securing that and freezing, rolling the fabric then freezing. The stitch and tear has kept it’s manipulated shape, whereas the nylon has returned to the original flat position.




Bay leaves – Grill. Putting the bay leaves underneath the grill all for varying times. Starting with the least amount of time on the left then more time for the right leaf (for 1 ½ minutes)Here the leave started to bubble up with the heat, gives more of a relief finish not as smooth.



Leaving materials outdoors for 24 hours. Trapping the fabrics underneath the bins, not too securely in the hope it could have been interesting to see which ones were caught by the wind however none were. The more resistant fabrics were the smoother fabrics (cling film and foil), I assume because the elements sit on the surface instead of becoming intertwined with the fibres. The properties made purposeful in the kitchen. I like how a leave has become embedded within the sequined fabric.







Cling Film under the grill. The first attempt I used a piece of cling film about 10cmx10cm but the intense heat of the grill shrivelled this into a small cocooned shape in no time, what was interesting was how the density of the cling film changed into something tough. The second and third experiments I folded larger pieces of cling film back on itself in the hope that more layers would take longer to heat, they did and the layers fused together to create one piece.



Applying heat to Bubble Wrap. Again under the grill with the bubble wrap laying flat for different amounts of time. The longer the wrap was under the heat the more it became to resemble the cling film with no definition to the bubbles, little time no real change at all, but a mid way piece shows an interesting form to the shape of the bubbles, however not too much manipulation as the air stays intact.



Natural dye Mint tea & raspberry tea. Using bubble wrap which became flat with the heat of the water/dye, some colouring under the layers where the bubbles once were. The stitch and tear I feel took the dye best, and I was surprised to see how well the paper kept it’s integrity within the boiling water for so long. The fleece fabric has stiffened, maybe due to the salt as I did not rinse this, the dying process has changed the properties of this swatch the most. After pinning the swatches together after they must not have been completely dry the water and tea has started to discolour and maybe go mouldy where the paper clip was.



Burning Papers and Plastics. Using normal lined paper under the grill, obviously here the tray which I used still had elements of greasy fat on them and the paper has picked that up.  Reminds me a little of wax.  The tied up straws took quite a while to melt but again I like how the layers and colours have fused similar to the cling film.  Nothing at all happened to the tin foil, as expected, the tin foil has these properties for this  exact type of use.  I then used different nets under the grill all for the same amount of time, The most plastic I found was the tighter woven white net as this began to curl and melt quickly. The gold net began to curl but on cooling returned to it’s original state, and the looser white net which I thought was synthetic, after this test I realised it was most likely a natural silk as nothing happened under the heat, it must need a lot higher temperature for anything to take effect.






Synthetic. Applying heat again to more plastic fabrics. The nylon parachute type fabric took 3 minutes to begin to melt, longer than most. The already quilted fabric also took a long time; the stitch created a bend in the fabric so only the middle section was exposed to direct heat.




Embroidered ‘silk’ – Not something I would usually use although it is a nice fabric and I do like the colours and the embroidered decoration, it doesn’t leave me much room to experiment and make this fabric into my own sample, the fabric would be very overpowering. As an example however it could be nice to pull threads and wear out to reflect on the old fashioned look.



This material looks like a flannel! – I like the texture of this fabric and the same of the next swatch, however the colour leaves very little room for manoeuvre, I’m not sure maybe not so much with the yellow but for the pink how well a dye would take. I usually like to explore natural dyes but I think for this purpose synthetic dye would be the way.
I do like the colour on it’s own, it’s bright and resonates a happy mood.




This shimmery stretch fabric I had left over from my work placement, used for dance attire, the stretch allows the dancer to move, very difficult to work with and needs a refined skill to create well fitted costume. Not something I will necessarily use, particularly for this project, but I think that the memory it holds for me and the links makes it something special.



Synthetic mix – rough texture and from experiments the fabric seems to be a synthetic mix, not fantastic at absorbing, however may be some natural fibres in there containing oils which is why when the fabric was left outside water sat on it’s surface.



Plastic material, made to look like bubble wrap. Possibly through the use of a vacuum press. Really interesting piece of fabric most likely best for sculpture rather than embellishment.



Fleece – Soft to the touch, very comforting. A fabric which I have started to use through some mindful sampling exercises. Great to stitch with and soft to the touch.



Woven light weight. Maybe not very substantial for my kind of expressive stitch, the fabric would probably get some pushed and shoved it would no longer be recognisable. Could make a great outcome but again the shine to the fabric makes it aesthetically pleasing left alone.



Patterned blend – I think the pattern is too overpowering to be used as an embroidered sample, the stitch would get lost. The scale of the weave is nice however, the fact you can see the stitch.


I really love the colours in this fabric, for me personally I think it’s a great design type fabric, I can see it being commercial, maybe for interiors or even tailored fashion. I think this is beautiful on it’s own.



Some latex-esk wet look fabric. I don’t like this at all. Although I did burn some under the grill to show how much I dislike this piece.



Wire wool. I took a sourer and pulled it apart, I attempted to knit with this however it was inclined to snapping. One thing I like in particular about this is the touch and the sound the wool makes.



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