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Wool House: feeling warm and woolly!

14 March 2013 by Editor

“Wool is a fibre for the life we lead, the people we love, the planet we inhabit.” The Campaign for Wool

The Wool House exhibition at Somerset House, London, opened yesterday and is on until 24 March.  This stylish and richly artisanal celebration of wool is not to be missed encompassing as it does the very best of what can be achieved by spinning, weaving, printing and manipulating this most timeless and enduring of fibres.

Hummingbird by Alexander McQueen for The Rug Company

The lofty and elegant rooms in the west wing of Somerset House have been used to stage a series of room sets as well as displays of fashion and accessories, including bespoke tailoring and hand knitting.

Savile Row bespoke

The importance of wool to the fashion industry is demonstrated with designs by, among others, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Raeburn; also Dashing Tweeds (Kirsty McDougall, Texprint 2002) and Alice Palmer (Texprint 2007).

Teflon-coated felted lace parka by Christopher Raeburn, headphones by Urbanears, tweed jackets by Dashing Tweeds

Knitted dress by Mark Fast, knitted chair cover, knit and fleece cape by Alice Palmer

As part of the national Campaign for Wool supported by The Prince of Wales, the project also involves a series of interactive workshops and a special educational and innovation room, using hi-tech tablets to demonstrate the processes wool undergoes on its journey from sheep to consumer.  This is an exhibition designed to engage and educate as much as to enjoy.

“Wool is all about comfort and beauty.  It is a fibre grown, not manmade, with an origin and integrity that has yet to be matched.  Natural, renewable and sustainable it offers the most timeless and enduring quality to materials for many different lifestyle products for interiors, fashion, build and craft.“ The Campaign for Wool

 

Wool fabrics are used to great effect in the room installations.  From the dramatic entrance hall with its chequered black and white carpet, to the modernist room by Anne Kyyro-Quinn with its brightly coloured sound-absorbing wall coverings, the fresh and charming nursery designed by Donna Wilson, to the typically eclectic and crafted bedroom designed by Kit Kemp MBE.  Dream interiors that beautifully illustrate wool's versatility in use, colour and texture.

Modern Room by Anne Kyyro-Quinn

Nursery by Donna Wilson

Bedroom by Kit Kemp MBE

Event director Bridgette Kelly - working with interior designer Arabella McNie as curator, and all the participating designers and highly skilled artisans - has created a truly diverse and creative opportunity to engage with the fibre’s heritage and future potential. 

We would encourage textile and fashion design students and tutors to visit and be inspired!

Wool art installation by Dutch tapestry artist, Claudy Jongstra

Wools of the World

Artisan rug weaver Jason Collingwood in his temporary studio, weaving on a table loom throughout the exhibition

 

 

 

 

Article tags: knit (15), weave (24), exhibition (24), home & interiors (28), fashion (36), woolmark (19), general (61), sponsors (30), accessories (15), special events (11)

London Fashion Week: Texprint’s textile review Part 1

03 March 2013 by Editor

With London Fashion Week over we thought it useful to highlight the breadth of autumn/winter 13/14 fabric directions being explored and developed by British brands and designers.

This season textiles are worked together and manipulated to create layered or multi-dimensional effects.  It is no longer enough to talk of knits, weaves or prints – weaves are embroidered or coated, felted flat fabrics are printed or embellished, knits are exaggerated, and prints are layered over jacquards or under sheers.  We are also seeing completely new types of fabrics being created by rethinking handcrafted techniques such as crochet and lace making.

Clements Ribeiro, Sister by Sibling, House of Holland / Photos: style.com

“In the digital age we are seeing an innovative amalgamation of technology and handcrafted looks. The whole digital print revolution started on the London runways and has transmitted down to the high street at every level so it was interesting to see pioneers of the medium like Peter Pilotto and Holly Fulton take a different route for autumn/winter 13/14, combining digital technology with something altogether more textural as both designers introduced embroidery, appliques and patchwork into their silhouettes,” says Sue Evans, fashion editor of WGSN.com (Texprint sponsor).

Peter Pilotto / Photos: style.com

Holly Fulton / Photos: style.com

Clare Johnston, professor of textiles at the RCA, agrees: “Just when we needed it, the catwalk shows were uplifting and inspiring. The fabrics exuded luxury and invention. Prints and patterns continue to be bold and brave with less reliance on obvious digital imagery and more use of individual and imaginative design.”

Silhouettes are also being reconsidered; note Peter Pilotto’s squared off and oversized jacekets and coats, inspired by the Spanish Renaissance painter El Greco, and embroidered with bold strokes of painterly energy.

Peter Pilotto / Photos: style.com

Moving on from her signature collaged, quirky and colourful digital prints, Mary Katrantzou’s new direction saw what Sue Evans describes as: “hauntingly beautiful monochromatic landscapes,” digitally printed over jacquards and brocades and worked into strong Japanese-esque silhouettes.  Also included in the collection are embossed leather and black-on-black jacquards.

Mary Katrantzou / Photos: style.com

Mary Katrantzou / Photos: style.com

While talking of fabric mixing and layering, Sue comments: “At Tom Ford, we were introduced to intricate floral embroideries fused with plush astrakhan furs, while at Erdem delicate print flower motifs were taken into another dimension when combined with laser punched cut-outs on a technical bonded fabric base.”

In his most beautiful, demure and modern collection to date, Erdem Moralioglu moved beyond his more familiar cocktail wear looks by showing a collection of confident and sensual fabrications.  Layering sheer over texture, lace over print, and using ostrich feathers, oversized sequins, or bright, three-dimensional embroidered flowers to lift the fabric surface.  He also showed tweeds, gleaming with shots of neon or plastic raffia, and softened by delicate threads of ostrich feathers wafting over the surface.

Erdem / Photos: style.com

Erdem / Photos: style.com

Christopher Kane also played with unexpected fabrications.  A modern take on sculptural Guipure lace and passmenterie-type trims on panne velvet dresses, interlocked along seam lines or cut open to give shape and allow movement.  Feathers were used extensively: to look like fraying seams or to create three-dimensional flowers; and cut jacquard jersey in a camouflage pattern gave the impression of a scratched and unfinished surface. Humour was here too, in the brightly coloured brain scan embroidery on an organza tee-shirt.

Christopher Kane / Photos: style.com

Christopher Kane / Photos: style.com

Article tags: fashion (36), general (61), business (54), special events (11)

Carlo Volpi at Pitti Filati, 23-25 January

23 February 2013 by Editor

Carlo Volpi blog for Knitting Industry website

Good to hear from Carlo Volpi (Texprint 2012) following his return from Pitti Filati, Florence, where Carlo was asked to create knitted garments for the Spazio Ricerca of Pitti Filati, the central research space dedicated to future vision, design and artisanal skills.

The inspiration for Carlo’s one-off pieces came from his research into cultural festivals: music festivals, folk/religious festivals like "El Dia de Los Muertos" (Day of The Dead) in Mexico, and sagras (traditional Italian food festivals).  As always, the research area provided drama and focus for those visitors looking to be excited by new ideas and creativity; the mannequins lined up on the central runway, surrounded by colourful petals strewn on the floor, and screens to each side showed videos of the various festivals.

Read more on Carlo’s blog for the Knitting Industry website where he regularly posts on anything he finds inspiring - emerging or established designer’s work, new yarns and exciting stitches.

Contact Carlo:

tel : +44 (0)7983 970703

carlo.volpi@network.rca.ac.uk �

www.carlovolpi.co.uk

Article tags: knit (15), alumni (45), exhibition (24), texprint 2012 (27), business (54)

In the loop: Texprint 2012’s knitwear specialists

17 February 2013 by Editor

Textile: ©Sarah Burton

Knitwear continues its resurgence embraced by emerging designers who continue to transform its traditions into exciting contemporary textiles, both for fashion and interiors. Texprint 2012 revealed some wonderful work by talented newcomers.

RCA MA graduate Carlo Volpi scooped the Texprint 2012 Body prize for best fashion fabric. He describes himself as “a man who knits”, but this description downplays this imaginative designer’s clever, innovative output. His eclectic design references include the Italian Constructivists, the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead, masks, superheroes and comic book characters. By creating bold and colourful menswear, Carlo harnesses traditional knit techniques in a fresh and eclectic manner. Alongside his freelance commissions, Carlo now writes a blog for www.knittingindustry.com

Carlo Volpi with Sarah Rutson and Ross Urwin of luxury retailer Lane Crawford HK

Japanese designer Azusa Dannohara creates dramatically colourful and sculptural knitted pieces. Her distinctive work is inspired by paganism, rituals and dance and plays with unusual colour combinations and mixed fibres such as merino wool and linen.

Azusa Dannohara on her stand at Indigo Paris

Catherine Hodgkinson’s accomplished designs are based on natural textures such as rocks and stones worn smooth through time, or gritty, earthy surfaces. Finely drawn observation work is translated into highly desirable fabrics through a sensitive selection of yarn and subtle colour. Catherine also adds devoréand discharge printing techniques to further add to the delicacy of her pieces.

Textile: ©Catherine Hodgkinson

Heriot Watt-trained knit specialist Charlotte Crombie’s work for domestic interiors was inspired by a trip to Zanzibar. Her final year collection, using lambswool and cashmere, was based on the decorative patterns and colours of Morocco.

Textile: ©Charlotte Crombie

The landscape of Guri Pedersen’s native Norway is a rich source of inspiration. References to national costume, folk traditions and the landscape are incorporated into a rich mix of textures and felting techniques that she mixes to create her highly distinctive knitted fabrics.

Sketchbook: ©Guri Pederson

Working her magic with knits for womenswear, MA graduate Sarah Burton takes a clever mixed media approach which results in rich and surprising textiles. Sarah - who has already been snapped up by textile design company Acorn Conceptual Textiles in Nottingham - incorporates decorative metal rings, hooks and buckles in her beautiful pieces created with silk, cotton and viscose.

Textile: ©Sarah Burton

Article tags: knit (15), texprint 2012 (27), indigo (15)

WSA magazine: Build inner strength with the talent of tomorrow

23 January 2013 by Editor

Sheree Waterson of Lululemon Athletica with Sophie Reeves and Manri Kishimoto

The January issue of WSA magazine features an interview with Sheree Waterson executive vice president and chief product officer of Lululemon Athletica (Texprint foundation sponsors) focused on the thinking behind Lululemon’s support for Texprint and, in Sheree's words, the importance of infusing “the organisation with new talent that sees the world in new ways.”

The inaugural Lululemon Texprint Award was won by Texprint 2012 designers Manri Kishimoto and Sophie Reeves who each received £1,000 and a prestigious 3-month paid internship at Lululemon’s Vancouver headquarters which started this January.

The article offers insight not only into the ethos of this rapidly growing North American business, but also highlights the cultural philosophy and yogic principles that Lululemon encourages in its work force and that feeds into its success.

In the article Sheree says: “In terms of leadership, the interns are going to be immersed in our culture of vision, goal-setting and personal accountability.  Additionally they will learn our design principles at Lululemon; combining fashion and function, West Coast lifestyle with European styling and creating their designs through those filters.”

Personal mentoring and well-managed internships are the cornerstones on which graduates can build and fast track their experience gathering.  The Texprint programme has long had mentoring at its core and with its sponsor-partners is planning to further develop this aspect of the programme through 2013.

WSA (World Sports Activewear) is a widely recognised, award-winning international publication for material development in the performance wear market.  Published six times a year it provides an up-to-date analysis of technical developments, commercial trends and offers valuable business management information. To subscribe to WSA go to www.sportstextiles.com

Article tags: texprint 2012 (27), business (54), champions of texprint (45), sponsors (30), collaboration (9), judges 2012 (13)

Texprint 2012: weave wizards

09 January 2013 by

Textile: ©Lisa Bloomer

Proof if needed that the ancient craft of weaving is in the ascendant: Texprint 2012 weave designers couple patience and precision with a love for the physicality and excitement of creating fabric from scratch, and their work is being snapped up by international fashion and interiors companies.

Lisa Bloomer is passionate about colour and sustainable practices, and is continually exploring new ways to succeed in her ”fight against the geometric.” Inspired by looking through windows at ever changing sky and cloud patterns above the city’s high-rise buildings, Lisa focuses on capturing transitory movement in her work. This spontaneity is tangible in all her designs, she uses colour in a fresh and dynamic way and achieves many unique effects by first hand painting on the warp.

Lisa’s jacquard designs are woven bespoke by Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen the only Irish linen damask weaver still remaining in Ireland.  She aims to source local fibres such as European hemp, linen and British wool.

Textile: ©Dominique Caplan

Dominique Caplan creates quirky and energetic concepts for menswear. Fascinated by the technical process of weaving, her primary research involved creating characters and models for games to develop her ideas of fun and fantasy. By working in monochrome with added shots of bright colour, Dominique quietly references Bridget Riley’s black and white optical illusion patterns.

Textile: ©Sophia Fenlon

Sophia Fenlon’s work is inspired by ornate ecclesiastical decoration and stained glass. Catholic traditions and the Renaissance are references for Sophia’s work created for both fashion and interiors. Sophia says, she is “intrigued by the weird and wonderful, and the exploration of extreme extra weft patterning, which gives rise to intricately constructed woven designs.”

Textile: ©Jacquie Lefferts

Inspired by Indian maharajahs, brocades and heavy military embroidery, Jacquie Lefferts creates opulent fabrics using metallic yarns. Jacquie has also re-created lace effects using a Leno weave technique to great effect.  Having studied at FIT in New York for two years, Jacquie then completed her BA at Chelsea College of Art & Design before being selected for Texprint.

Fantasy and surrealism are aspects that inspired Alix Massieux’s fabric collection. Although a weave specialist, Alix is driven to mix techniques and experiment with embroidery. To read more, click here.

Textile: ©Sophie Manners

Sophie Manners, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, was selected as winner of the second Woolmark Texprint Award in support of the Campaign for Wool Indigo/Première Vision in September. Sophie won the prize for her superb woven textile designs developed with 60% or more Merino wool.  Sophie loves colour and texture and being playful with these two elements. It was her reinvented traditional woven pieces on the theme of hair and fur, and her experimental approach to constructing fabrics with often unexpectedly tactile surfaces, that caught the judges’ attention. In November Sophie completed a seven-week internship with Taroni in Como, a unique opportunity to experience working in textiles in Italy.

Textile: ©Sophie Reeves

Finally, captivated by the physicality of creating woven fabrics and inspired by 1930’s fabric design and Russian Constructivism, Sophie Reeves loves to mix graphic pattern with “random outbursts” of additions such as applied crystal decoration. In November Sophie finished a seven-week internship with Luigi Verga, Como - while there with five other Texprint designers, enjoying an invaluable experience gathering visit to the Missoni and Ermenegildo Zegna headquarters.

Sophie is one of two designers selected by Lululemon Athletica as winners of the inaugural Lululemon Texprint Award, winning not only £1,000 but also a three-month paid internship at Lululemon headquarters in Vancouver, Canada, starting this month (the other winner is Manri Kishimoto).

Article tags: weave (24), home & interiors (28), texprint 2012 (27), woolmark (19)

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