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New Blog!

After a long and blogless summer, I am adding one more post just to say I have moved my blog to toweraridley.wordpress.com. This blog will stay public but I will no longer to post to it. If you have followed my work on here then thank you for your interest – please check out the new blog for latest news of my first ever business venture, first sales and new products…

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overprinted sample

successive prints using disperse dye-loaded paper

The sample above is my favourite so far. I used disperse dye to print over a sample of wire knitting onto a piece of synthetic (‘peachskin’) fabric. I see it possibly as a placement print on a garment. In connection with this type of printing I have been looking at Becky Earley‘s work, particularly her Top 100 series. I saw some of these ‘upcycled’ blouses on display in Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution at the Dovecot Infirmary in Edinburgh. They make striking use of reconstruction and overprinting to create beautiful new one-off garments from vintage and second-hand found pieces. For over a decade Earley has been using her patented ‘heat photogram’ method (which as far as I can tell is similar in principle to what I have done here) and has more recently applied this to the reconstruction and upcycling of used garments to breathe new life into old textiles. She also uses exhaust printing, which puts the unused dye chemicals back into the process rather than discarding them with the waste water, thus using each load of dye until the pigment is spent and saving on harmful waste products. In the sample on the right, the same dye-loaded paper was re-used, resulting in a faded effect in later prints. I am interested in using this idea of making one standard item into a new and different garment through overprinting and stitch techniques.

smocking sample before and after overprinting

This one was lattice smocked in peachskin and then overprinted with disperse dye. I wasn’t particularly taken with the result at first, but it has grown on me. I like how the overprinting throws the structure of the stitching into relief, and think it could be a decorative alternative to gathering or darts in a garment. In this woven fabric it has a small amount of stretch – I have yet to experiment with the technique in a knitted fabric.

found and recycled

old t-shirt print sewn onto hand-dyed cotton shopping bag

I like finding things that I can make into other things… as with the hood (see dressmaking). I found the t-shirt at a charity shop and thought the front and back prints would look cute on an old white cotton shopper I had. The prints are by Simon Drew for Plugprints, and the ‘puffin/nuffin’ shirts can still be ordered via his website.

I hand-dyed the bag with procion dye to go with the puffin’s beak and am quite pleased with the result 🙂

My big idea with this blog is to organise it into a showcase section, a current work section and then perhaps a space for thoughts and ideas. There now I’ve said it, just have to do it…

No. 1

Just for fun! This is experimental, I’m curious to see how having a blog might affect my art/textiles work… watch this space for more.