Nina's Textile Trail

My OCA Textile Tales

Part 4 – Textile Structures – Project 9 – Woven structures – Stage 4 developing design ideas into weaving


Ref: Assignment 4 A3 workbook pages 23-26

The aim of this section is to develop some of my visual ideas into a large sample, making use of work from stages 1 and 2, so I started by reviewing my samples and identifying the materials and shapes I would like to explore further.   and chose to work with the second approach listed.  This involved choosing a word and making a storyboard around the word.


What I wanted to capture was the sense of inner peace the landscape gives me.  I found it difficult to select a single word and explored a few words and defintions before deciding on ‘Calming’.  ‘Serene’ was a close second, but the rural landscape isn’t always serene but looking at it has a calming effect for me.

I selected colours from some areas of the images and added windings.  I find the colours calming and the shapes large and flowing.

Overall the storyboard reflects scenes which make me breathe more deeply, more slowly and relaxes me.  The blues of the sea and the sky steady my emotions and have a calming effect.

I reviewed my work on page 24 and 25 of the workbook and concluded that I was keen to explore combining neutral colours and colour mixing to achieve different tones and movement with lines of weaving creating curves.


The Wild Silk 4 from Texere Yarns (100%Tussah Silk Noil) was a good choice for the warp as it is strong, natural in colour and soft.

To help plan out what I expected to happen, I drew out lines of the landscape on page 28 and using hand made papers experimented with some collage on page 23 and between pages 23 and 24.  This helped to identify the types of shapes I was hoping to create and the possibility of using a limited palette.


On pages 29 & 30, I used some hand painted papers, in colours extracted from the storyboard, in different combinations to determine which colours I might use.   I narrowed it down to three choices, preferring option 3 and converted it to black an white to compare the values.  In this case option 3 showed the most contrast/interest in values.


I went on to consider colour proportions on page 34


and decided that an approximate balance of 25% grey, blue, tan and cream with a slight change of width would give the most interest.

I scaled it up to A4 on page 35.


but thought some of the bands were a bit wide, so reduced them and produced another cartoon using recycled envelopes which I could use whilst weaving.


I was unhappy with aspects of the end result which I will cover below and when I looked back at this cartoon, I couldn’t believe I had gone ahead with the second and third band as they seemed less appealing in the revised cartoon than the original!  This error was reflected in the final weave.



The requirement of the course notes was to create an expressive mood through my use of yarns, materials, colour and the proportions in which I use them.

I think the sample achieved this to some degree.  The colour choice and gentle curves were calming and the proportions helped the restfulness, with the exception of the dominant brown section approx a third down and a third across the piece.

The lines of the lower portion from the middle cream section were pleasing and tones and texture promising.  My first disappointment came in the blue section, fourth from the bottom.  I quickly realised that although there was contrast in the hand painted papers selected for my design, which were extracted from the storyboard, my blue collection of yarns couldn’t really match it and alongside the grey provided little difference.  I contemplated unpicking but decided to carry on and was reasonably pleased with the resulting compromise (the lower grey-blue section) and the cream above it.

I really ran into difficulty in the upper section.  Firstly,  I don’t think the curves on my planned cartoon were as aesthetically pleasing at the top of the design when compared with the bottom and there was something about the ellipse like shape on the right hand side of the brown section and the top of the grey section that I found difficult to weave.   Added to that, my colour and yarn combinations were less subtle.

I think my process of design was more thorough than in previous work, and the process itself was reasonably sound, but my attention to detail when preparing papers and considering yarns was lacking.  I was focusing on using materials in my possession, with more time and consideration, I could have dyed yarns to suit the project more closely.  In addition I would produce more samples to improve my weaving of curves, particularly an ellipse type shape and adjust the lines of the upper portion of the design.


3 thoughts on “Part 4 – Textile Structures – Project 9 – Woven structures – Stage 4 developing design ideas into weaving

  1. The weave is beautiful. Look up Carol Naylor, this reminds me of her work.

    • Thanks, I have just looked her up, it is similar, I love the way she mixes colours. Might have to try as I do like a bit of machine embroidery, quicker than weaving! Much more subtle but lovely and calm are some of Soon Yul Kang’s tapestries.

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