Nina's Textile Trail

My OCA Textile Tales

Part 4 – Textile Structures – Project 8 Yarns – Stage 2 Experimenting with structures – Exercise 2, 3 & 4

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Ref: Assignment 4 – A3 Workbook pages 9-14

Exercise 2 – A collection of three/four strand plaits or braids. (click on the picture for a clearer view)


It was interested to braid not having done it before, but when using mixed yarn, I didn’t think that braiding enhanced the materials. The uniformity of using the same yarn was more pleasing to me (far right).  I liked the effect of inserting wire into fine knitted tubular cotton tape and gathering the cotton slightly and also the wrapped paper covered wire and wrapped knitted tube (first three on left).

Exercise 3 – Hand twisted ropes


These were more appealing to me.  I found that some yarns untwisted which I assume is related to how they are spun (with a Z-twist or S-twist).   Also working with two yarns was more effective than working with four in many cases and with a yarn that was difficult to twist, a shorter length was more successful.

Exercise 3 – Using rigid materials to form the outline of the shape to make a frame, find a way to join the ends so the shape is firm and stable.  Think of the effect of light and space between the materials and select materials accordingly.


Initially the plaited wire was part of the previous exercise’s experimentation, but when exploring materials for this section it kept ‘asking to be used’, so I decided to go with the flow.  I liked the smooth feel of the wire and the way the light hit the surface.   Having investigated wrapping in the previous exercise, it found it to be a good method to secure the wire in a circular shape.  I looked at various yarns to cross the frame and found the reflective qualities of the metallic thread most appealing. Chiffon ribbon came to mind when thinking about translucent materials and the printed ribbon recycled from some perfume packaging seemed to fit the bill.   I was pleased with the outcome as it had evolved quite easily which was satisfying.  I stressed briefly about whether I should add more materials or research other structures but felt simple was more effective.

Exercise 4 – Make a grid with rigid materials finding a way to secure the horizontal elements.


The grid is made with bamboo skewers with the horizontal elements secured with paper covered wire which was very effecting and in keeping with natural element of the bamboo.   Other materials used include raffia, black paper raffia, linen thread, black and white, cotton tape combined with a silk, cotton, cashmere yarn, silk throwsters waste and cotton scrim enclosed in black linen thread.  I like the interplay of natural materials and reduced colour palette.


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