Monday, 6 April 2015

Chapter 5 Drawn Thread Work

I decided during the last chapter that I hadn’t decided upon a focus or colour scheme for this module and now, having decided that I like the idea of using material collected from a recent holiday in New York and Boston  I decided to look again at the paraphernalia I brought back.

I put together a digital page of images that I liked, these include stamps, pamphlets, tickets, maps and my own photos.

digital page

I was struck by the prominence of yellow and blue and prepared a cold water dye using these colours with the addition of a little black to make a slightly deeper shade. This gave me a beautiful indigo colour and subtle yellow. I used equal parts cold water dye, salt and soda crystals and stored the dye in a screw top jar

first thoughts 3

I used some linen scrim and painted the dye directly onto the fabric with a paint brush in blocks of colour. Sian had suggested sandwiching the scrim between lengths of cling film to form a package sealing the edges and then leaving it overnight. I made sure the colour soaked right through the fabric for a strong colour. This worked really well. I rinsed the fabric and left it to dry.


Drawn Thread Work - The first exercise

Samples 1-6

I tried making different patterns by withdrawing threads in different quantities both horizontally and vertically, I was very struck by the effects of the drawn threads and the colour ways.

withdrawn threads 1, 2, 3withdrawn threads 4, 5 and 6

Second exercise:

Sample 7 – The threads were pulled partially along the weave from the edges which served to displace the bands of colour. Sample 8: The threads were pulled up from the middle to create a loopy effect in the centre:

withdrawn threads 7,8

Sample 9:

The weave was drawn both horizontally and vertically to form a grid and the drawn threads woven back into the weave in various ways. I added machine stitching using the same complimentary colour ways [Coats polyester thread]  to strengthen the fabric, add definition and colour. Whip stitch in places added to the effect.

drawn threads 9

Sample 10

Partially drawn neighbouring threads were thread onto a tapestry needle and woven / darned back into the fabric from where it had come and secured with a twisted knot:


drawn thread 10

I was really pleased with these samples and delighted with the effects of drawn thread and the displaced bands of colour. I also loved the added dimension and definition brought by the machine stitching.

I’m now looking forward to more experiments with stitching into the drawn thread work in chapter 6.