Nina's Textile Trail

My OCA Textile Tales

Part 2 Building a Visual Vocabulary – Project 5 – Stage 4 – A larger sample – REFLECTION

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I am pleased with my efforts but think there are many ways the sample could be improved.

Do you feel you made a good selection from your drawings to use as source material from your design ideas?  Which interpretations worked best? Why?

I do feel I made a good selection from my drawings to use as source material for my design ideas.  Although simple, because the leaf shape was easier to draw I was able to use it more expressively, rearrange the shapes and scale with ease.  The idea began with a drawing from a magazine photograph of autumn coloured leaves that truly inspired me and the theme was followed throughout this section.  The element that work best for me was the curved lines down the centre of the leaf, I liked the way they could direct the eye around the piece.  However, in my sample, I think the background should have had more depth, following the same design but maybe with more contrast in the shades of paint or by discharging with the leaf stamp first in some areas and then adding colour back in.  I was a little disappointed with the larger leaf.  I think the final decision to draw with water-soluble crayons and over stitch wasn’t a bad one, but there is insufficient contrast between the leaf and the background.  Also the fabric was distorted with the stitching.  So more consideration should be been given to all or some of the following, the fabric weight, the quantity of free-machining, the tension or stablising the fabric before stitching.

Which fabrics did you choose?  What particular qualities appealed to you?

I chose to use the recycled cotton from the valence.  I preferred the smooth surface for printing.  I love the texture of other fabrics like silk noil, linen scrim, rough linen and cotton velvet but in this case aimed to provide the texture with the printing.  (Although as mentioned above it puckered a little with the free machining)

Is the scale of marks and shapes on  your samples appropriate to the fabric?  Would any of your ideas work better on a different type of fabric, for example, sheer, textured, heavyweight?  Why?  Do the marks and shapes seem well placed, too crowded or too far apart?  Were you aware of the negative shapes that were forming in between the positive shapes?  What elements are contrasting and what elements are harmonising in the sample?  Is there a balance between the two that produces an interesting tension?

I think the scale of marks and shapes are appropriate to the fabric although to get the full impact of the design, it would need to be produced on a bigger piece of cloth.  I don’t think the ideas would work better on a different type of fabric but think a very similar approach would work well on a sheer because the surface is smooth enough to take a detailed print.  The detail of the smaller printed leaves would not have worked on a textured fabric.  I think the marks and shapes are well placed.  I am not sure I was aware of the negative shapes forming in between the positive ones, but I was definitely considering the negative space in the placement of the larger leaves.  The size of the background leaf print and the larger leaf contrast, the leaf shapes harmonise, the analogous colours harmonise.  I think there is a balance between the larger and smaller leaf design but that a much more interesting tension could have been created by introducing more colour contrast and texture in the background.   The subtle but intricate detail of the scrunched cloth in the first dyeing (illustrated in the photograph of the cover of the ‘Samples – printing on Fabric’ booklet)  was lost in the overdyeing and the background small leaf print was a bit too subtle and ‘safe’.   This is more evident when viewing the actual sample, the photograph suggests greater texture.   There also needed to be more contrast between the stitched leaf and the background.  It it better close up  but from a distance the stitched leaf is lost.  The burgundy bobbin thread on the reverse of the fabric may have been bolder and appeared more expressive than the right side.

The following left is a sponged and printed page from my sketchbook which shows more contrast than the over-dyed cloth below right.

How successful do you think your larger sample is?  Do you like the design?  Have you recreated or extended your ideas from the smaller samples so that there is a visible development between the two?  Does your repeating design flow across the surface without obvious internal edges?  Do they make an interesting composition on this larger scale?

I am pleased with my efforts and think there is some success in the larger sample, I like the design but think it could be exploited to much greater effect.  I think there is a visible development from the initial drawing, through the printing experiments to this point. The repeating design of the background flows without obvious internal edges and considering the tracing paper sketch of the larger pattern alongside the sample think the larger leaves would flow if the design was printed on a larger piece of fabric.  I think further development would add interest to the composition.



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