Fabric Making: the basics

This is going to be a pretty potted summary of the first step in making my textile jewellery: creating a sheet of fabric, which can then be sliced and diced and stitched.

I begin by cutting out a stiff square backing layer. On top I lay pieces of material of all different colours and textures. Even the most eye-watering patterns can be used, as the layering technique stops them from overpowering, but allows snatches of brightness to show through.

I use a machine to embroider over the scraps, sewing in loops, lines and layers, frequently changing the colour of thread, and occasionally changing the pattern of stitch.

I then layer over more scraps of material and ribbon, and cover with pieces of organza. Once these have been stitched over, I get to the really fun bit: the heat gun.

The heat gun melts away patches of fabric, revealing the underlying layers. Wherever the organza has been sewn over by embroidery thread, it resists being melted by the heat gun, creating tiny cellular shapes with melted middles.

This process is pretty organic as it’s determined by the individual requirements of the materials I choose, and my own hunt for new discoveries and techniques.

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