Hand Weaving:


27-2nd April

After conducting my research in the areas of pollution, litter and littering becoming water pollution and seeing how the natural beaches are becoming plastic- along with my chosen artists who to combine man-made materials and natural, I desperately wanted to experiment and play with this idea of merging the two together. Having done this in a sculptural way with the Plaster of Paris similar to the artist I researched into Jamie North, and stalling as I couldn’t foresee a fashion related future with this method, I wanted to transfer this context into a more textile based process.

As Tuesdays are ‘pathway’ days this means I as a fashion student have full access to the Textile studio space and all the resources I will need. With the idea in mind of wanted to entwine the man-made and the natural together, I started off with a simplistic method of hand weaving. This way I can combine the two together efficiently.

To complete a successful hand weave piece you need the following equipment:

  • Cardboard Loom
  • Strong yarn – string
  • Plastic needle
  • Materials to weave with

To create the actual samples, I had to:

  • Dressing the loom up with the strong yarn by pulling holding the string in the centre of the cardboard loom, bring it up to the top and hook it onto the groove. Pull it down to secure on the bottom groove around the back onto the top groove, etcetera until I had the width I wanted the sample size to be. Tie the remaining string left at the beginning in the centre of the loom.
  • Then using the materials, I previously have selected, I cut them into long strips and thread them through the warp with a plastic needle.
  • After threading the needle with my desired material I started weaving the needle with the attached thread horizontally through the vertical string, by alternating up and over it and ensuring there is excess material at the beginning and at the end of each section.
  • Repeat but in an alternate pattern and a different material until the desired length.
  • When completed cut the string top and bottom and tie the loose ends to secure.

To help, I followed these tutorials on youtube step by step. I found them extremely helpful ass they’re really clear and easy to understand.

One of my goals I set at the beginning of my project was to illustrate how arising issues and humanity’s way of life (growing cities, littering, pollution, global warming, nuclear waste) are affecting nature. I want to present these issues through contrasting and juxtaposing ‘nature’ with the ‘man-made’ together through textile means. To stick to this and truly illustrate the point I am trying to get across after my learning about the problems litter, pollution and humans way of life today is affecting nature and essentially starting to engulf it, along my personal concerns on this matter, I wanted to do my part in helping to change this problem. Starting off small I made the decision of instead of buying my materials I wanted to use for these samples I made the decision to go outside and see what I could find.

Unfortunately – though no surprise-  after just taking a short drive into the town of Bolton, to my dismay there was an array of litter and pollution everywhere I looked, and 90% of it was the none biodegradable plastics. Putting on a pair of gloves and ignoring the looks I was getting from pedestrians passing by, I got to work to try and find the cleanest litter to include in my work, and putting the rest in the nearest rubbish bin. After arriving home I thoroughly washed the litter I wanted to use and let it dry in preparation for the following day where I knew I would be weaving It into natural fabrics and fibres, to ensure the contrast was vivid and my point came across with ease.

I created 4 samples in total. This first sample I created I started off small, due to the fact if I didn’t like the way it turned out, I would still have time to spare in my textiles pathway for the rest of the day to figure out a different method of entwining the man-made and the natural together. This sample is the basis for my development, and I decided to combine a black bin bag, a white bin bag, some man made polyester with 100% mohair yarn and sheep’s wool. I don’t really like this sample but I felt It was just too small to really see the weaving method for what it’s worth, thus I decided to create this second piece.


For this second sample, I decided to use man made for the majority of it. Materials include a black bin bag, a white plastic bag, polyester scuba material, bubble wrap. Again I felt it was too small to look effective, and the string I used to dress the loom to me looked too obvious and unnatural. Due to this the next sample I created I wanted to get more creative.


To ensure you couldn’t see the weft dressing for the look I decided to use all fair and light colours to match and blend in more smoothly. I also wanted a subtler sample, so the materials I used were natural including cotton in different states and wool, however I also used man made materials that are ‘dupes’ for natural ones. This included crepe and silk polyesters. This sample I created was a lot bigger than the previous two and I prefer the size a lot more as it looks really effective and neater and I can imagine it on a bigger scale.


However I felt this sample was too subtle and looked just all natural, therefore I created this final weaving sample- my favourite.


This sample I kept the bigger size as comparing sample 3 with 1 and 2 I prefer It far more. However, decided to go back to the theory of samples 1 and 2 by incorporating the litter I found into it. This sample includes raw sheep’s wool and raw cotton juxtaposing this with bin bags and crisp wrappers. When I had completed it I felt like there wasn’t enough litter incorporated so I decided to melt more on top. The melting of the plastic I really liked as I felt it represented global warming well, and watching the heat manipulate the plastic until it curled up and frazzled was really interesting so I may experiment with this idea further. However though overall I am happy with this final hand woven sample, I felt like the fluidity of the combination of the pollution with the natural wasn’t smooth enough again, as It looks quite structured and boxy. Though I am not happy with this- this is only the method and the context behind it I have come up with for this is what I will take away with me for my next process I need to find that Is more fluid.

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