Category Archives: My Work

Final Project (Documentation and Outcome)

Mood Board:

Final moodboard and description

Vein-like qualities: smooth, tortuous, organic, fluid, connective networks

Sample- techniques:

  1. Batik
  2. Dyeing
  3. Fabric of Thread
  4. Dry Transfer Printing
  5. Bleaching
  6. Smocking
Batik (White cotton polyester brushed with melted wax, wax is cracked and fabric paint applied. Wax is ironed off when paint is dry)
Dyeing (Cotton polyester fabric wrapped crumpled on a bottle, olive green fabric dye)
Fabric of Thread (Twine and polyester fabric is placed between water soluble stabiliser sheets and white thread is machine-sewn on. Stabiliser is washed and remaining piece left to dry)
Dry Transfer Printing (Fabric crayon colour blocks are ironed onto polyester satin with twine and string as stencils)
Bleaching ( Black cotton fabric wrapped crumpled on a bottle, soaked in bleach and washed)
Smocking (Acrylic felt with smocking stitches hand-sewn)
Collage of Samples

 

Noticeboard
Handbag
Doormat

Small Product: Clutch

Acrylic felt hand-sewn with smocking techniques to create a vein-like design
Details of the vein clutch
Final product

Presentation Boards:

Board 1: Moodboard
Board 2: Samples
Board 3: Applications

 

Other explorations: Batik

Batik can be described as a general technique that utilises wax-resist and dyeing of fabric to achieve a decorative effect.

Materials required:

  • Wax
  • Portable stove
  • Brush (two)
  • Cotton fabric
  • Fabric paint

Technique:

  • Melt wax and brush unto cloth
  • Crumple the cloth if the cracked effect is desired
  • Apply fabric paint
  • Air dry
  • Iron off the wax in between sheets of newspaper
Preparation of wax and cloth
Application of fabric paint
Ironed batik pieces

Applique

Appliqué is a needlework technique where smaller pieces of fabric or other materials are sewn unto a larger piece to form a picture or pattern.

Materials required:

  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
  • Scraps of fabric, felt and leather, beads, etc

Technique:

  • Arrange the materials on the base fabric and secure with sewing pins
  • Stitch the materials unto the fabric using the sewing machine
  • Using the zig-zag stitch prevents unravelling
Testing of applique techniques (Hand-sewn and machine-sewn)

Applications include:

  • This technique is decorative and can be used on wearables, furnishings, and even on paper
  • It can be hand or machine sewn
Images sourced from Pinterest

Personal reflections:

This technique reminds me of decoupage where the surface is built up through the addition of interesting materials, resulting in a meaningful piece of work even if the elements are distinctly different. Also, the stitches play a role in the final appearance!

Knitting

Yarn and other kinds of threads can be woven in loops to create a cloth. There are multiple techniques for knitting, and the effect varies with the texture, colours and weight of the yarn used as well as the type of needle.

Materials required:

  • Yarn, ribbons, etc
  • Plastics, cords and wire
  • Knitting needles

Technique:

The internet is a treasure trove of tutorials! With both video and pictures, patterns and  stitches can be learnt through practice.

Basic stitches taught on http://newstitchaday.com/category/guides/knitting-101/

Using the wool yarn, techniques like casting on, purl stitch, knit stitch, slip stitch, “yarn over”, increasing, decreasing and binding off were practiced.  It progressed to the incorporation of lace patterns such as those in the images below.

From the Flax and Twine website I used Pattern 1 and Pattern 4

Taken from https://www.flaxandtwine.com/2015/05/easy-lace-knit-shawl-pattern/

Knitted wool yarn with multiple techniques

For the plastic knit, Lace Pattern 1 was followed.

Plastic yarn knitting process

For the wire knit, Lace Pattern 4 was followed. Wire was a challenge to manipulate, however, the resulting strength and elasticity gives the material a new character.

Knitted square made of wire

Applications include:

  • Variations of thick, thin, sparse and tight-knit surfaces for different uses
  • Making “Plarn” (plastic yarn) products, reusing old plastic bags
  • Wire meshes that layer atop each other to create dimension ( decorations, lampshades, baskets, accessories)
Knitted pieces found on Pinterest (yarn, plastic, metal)

Personal Reflections:

The technique is similar to macrame. However knitting allows more stretchability while macrame makes use of knotting to secure the threads. Perhaps both can be combined in one fabric to give mixed properties?

We often think the knitted wear is meant for winter but there are also ways to make knitted materials cooling though the use of spacing and thinner thread (e.g. linen). Combining the different stitches into one piece make it interesting especially when the build-up is slow! 

The presence of 3D knitting machines (where the digital design is turned into a knitted piece) allows us to contemplate how our knitted works can be different from the industrial-made 

Manual vs 3D-knitting (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/08/3d-knitting-weaving-spinning-printing)

 

Fabric Manipulation (Smocking)

Smocking is an embroidery technique which gathers fabric together into pleats to allow stretching. It is also used to add texture and decoration to the fabric. It was used before elastics were produced.

Materials required:

  • Needle and thread
  • Thick or stiff fabric (e.g. felt), striped fabric
  • Smocking template
  • Fabric chalk

Technique:

  • Draw the grid or dots unto the wrong side of the fabric with the fabric chalk
  • Stitch with the needle and thread according to the guide
Smocking technique 1
Back and front surfaces, with gradation in sizes
Smocking technique 2
Back and front surfaces, with gradation in sizes

Applications include:

  • Controlling the fullness of fabric (e.g. in garments, curtains, upholstery)
  • Adding vibrant decorative elements to any fabric
Applications of smocking found on the internet

Personal reflections:

The end products were surprising as the gathering of stitches transformed the qualities of the fabric. The two templates chosen had the same dimensions and directions of stitches that were simply arranged in different configurations.  However, the patterns created by the distinct shadows and folds were  both unique. The gradation of the grid sizes in the same fabric also yielded more fluidity.

Other explorations: Fabric Dyeing

Dyeing is the addition of colour to textiles, and requires natural fibres (e.g. wools, twine, linen, cotton). There are also natural and man-made dyes

Materials required:

  • Fabric dye (and salt, if required)
  • Clips, string or rubber bands
  • Natural fabric
  • Container (for dye and hot water)

Technique:

  • Tie, fold wrap, crumple or stitch the fabric in any manner
  • Mix the dye in boiling water
  • Moisten the fabric before immersing in the container
  • Stir and allow the fabric soak in the dye solution for at least 20 minutes (depending on the dye purchased)
  • Remove the fabric and wash with cool water
  • Air dry
Dyeing process: tying/clipping/wrapping, soaking in dye solution
Dyeing results

Applications include:

  • Adding decorative elements to shirts, scarfs, bags, etc
  • Adding colour to light coloured objects like strings
Fabric dyeing applications from Pinterest

Personal reflections:

The usage of just one colour can result in mesmerising organic patterns. Multi -coloured patterns could be explored! Also, we could consider making dyes from natural sources like fruits. It was observed that the polyester blend also took on the creases made by the during the dyeing process.

 

Resin Encapsulation and Latex

Resin Encapsulation

There are three main types of resin casting (Information from  Environ Molds) :

  • Polyester– commonly used in moulded reinforced fibre and composite products. It is a viscous liquid that requires catalysts to complete the curing process. It is considered unsafe due to the harmful fumes released (need well-ventilated areas and masks). It will also yellow over time when exposed to UV.
  • Epoxy– more expensive but clearer. It takes several hours to days for complete curing.
  • Polyuerethane– sets faster at around five to twenty minutes, and is less odorous.
Samples seen in class

Materials required:

  • Mould (no bigger than 12 by 8 cm)
  • Liquid resin
  • Resin spray
  • Things to encapsulate (leaves, wood, fabric, etc)

Technique:

  • Dust the container
  • Spray the mould with resin spray
  • Arrange the object in the mould (unless the object is to be placed midway in the resin)
  • Pour out the resin into a large container and weigh it
  • Add in the hardener (3% of the weight of the resin)
  • Stir well and pour the mixture into the mould with the object
  • Remove bubbles by poking with a pin
  • Allow  the resin to dry
Resin-making process (Rubber seeds)
Resin-making process (Sanding and attempt at polishing)
Resin-making process (Leaf vein)
Finished outcome (Leaf vein)
  • Decided to try sand off any excess or sharp edges (followed by buffing with toothpaste as suggested by the internet, and then applying wax to polish the surface)
  • (however, it was not as shiny and transparent as it could be)
Plastic polishing website

Applications include:

  • The very small (jewellery) and the large (floors and walls)
  • Display of specimens
  • Objects that utilises its qualities (transparent, high density, strong)
Images sourced from Pinterest

Personal reflections:

The transparency and the density of the resin causes refraction of light, enlarging the encapsulated object,  manipulating the image of the background as well as cast shadows.  These optical effects are particularly apparent while photographing the finished resin. The unique, three-dimensional frame around the chosen articles somehow creates a sense of stillness.  I love such accidental discoveries!

 

Latex

Latex is a natural ingredient from rubber trees and they become sticky when drying. It solidifies and shrinks slightly into a rubbery material. It can be used as an adhesive as well. (information from Wikipedia)

Samples seen in class

Materials required:

  • Mould
  • Liquid latex
  • Colours (food dye or acrylic paint)

Technique:

  • Pour out the latex into a large container and weigh it
  • Add in the hardener (3% of the weight of the latex)
  • Stir well and pour the mixture into the mould
  • Add in desired colours and stir
  • Allow the latex to dry
Latex making process

Applications include:

  • Props, masks, balloons
  • Mats and wall coverings
  • Lamps  and other objects that can utilises its qualities (flexible, water proof, translucent, absorbent, soft)
Images sourced from Pinterest

Personal reflections:

This seemed rather tough to handle as the latex hardened faster than we could manage. Although the resulting form was messy, the introduction to latex was fun and invokes that sense of childhood (those strange rubbery toys we had?). Upon reading more about the applications of latex, I realised that it was intended for industrial purposes rather than art. It is inspiring how putting a creative spin on a material can inject new life into it.

Heat Setting and Vacuum Forming

Heat Setting

“Heat setting is a heat treatment by which shape retention, crease resistance, resilience and elasticity are imparted to the fibres. It also brings changes in strength, stretchability, softness, dyeability and sometimes on the colour of the material. All these changes are connected with the structural and chemical modifications occurring in the fibre.” – Textile Learner

Thermoplastics can be reshaped with heat (polyesters are thermoplastic synthetic fibres)

Samples from class ( crumpled polyester, folded paper)

Materials required:

  • 100% polyester organza
  • Marble, wooden or plastics that do not melt
  • Rubber bands
  • Aluminium foil
  • Pot (to steam or boil the cloth in)

Technique:

  • Place the moulds and tightly wind rubber bands around it
  • Wrap in aluminium foil
  • Or: fold the polyester between two aluminium foils (pleating/ origami/ etc)
  • Or: use foil to create spikes
  • Steam or boil for at least 45 minutes
  • Remove the cloth from the pot and allow them to cool
  • Remove the foils and moulds
Using marbles secured with rubber bands
Pleats folded in between aluminium foils
Pleated cloth twirled between aluminium foils
Three pieced of cloth with marbles bound inside

Applications include:

  • Fashion items that require flexibility. A good example is Issey Miyake’s pleated garments
  • Perhaps toys for children could incorporate such techniques too, creating tactile experiences that are safe to explore
Images found on Pinterest

Personal reflections:

It was fascinating to manipulate fabric, giving it a sense of elasticity and fluidity. The technique is also simple to do, but the material is limited to thermoplastics. Nevertheless, it can also be highly useful as a  non-wearable like shop front designs and curtains

 

Vacuum Forming

A sheet of plastic is heated and stretched over a mould, thus taking the shape of that object

Materials required:

  • PVC sheet
  • Vacuum forming machine
  • Mould that has draft angles and no undercuts

Technique:

  • Allow the machine to heat up
  • Place the mould on the grill and lower it into the machine
  • Secure the plastic sheet in between the frames
  • Shift the heater over the plastic sheet
  • When the plastic is heated sufficiently it will sag evenly
  • The heating element is to be pushed away
  • The vacuum is turned on and the mould raised
  • Holes can be drilled into the mould if the corners of the plastic need to be sharp
  • Also, if the mould is tall, pressure can be applied to the plastic first to stretch it
Process of vacuum forming
Results of the moulded PVC

 

Applications include:

  • Packaging
  • Containers
  • Prototyping
  • Arts and craft sets
  • Mould for resin, clay, etc
Images sourced from the internet

 

Personal reflections:

The possibilities seem boundless with vacuum forming as the PVC is highly pliable. The plastic is able to capture the large and small details of the mould. The end result is also neat (unless the mould is trapped within the plastic).

Thermochromic Ink

Thermochromic inks change from the colourless to colourful or vice versa with the changes in temperature. These inks make use of thermochromism, which refers to “materials that change their hues in response to temperature fluctuations”. These inks are also know as leucodyes, which are organic (carbon-based) chemicals that change in molecular structure due to heat energy. The varied interactions with light result in different colours seen by the eye.

Materials required:

  • Thermochromic pigments
  • Clear base (like resin, glue, polymorph, etc)
  • Silkscreen
  • Light coloured fabric
Thermochromic pigment

Technique:

  • Mix the pigment in paint, resin, glue, Polymorph, etc to create the ink
  • Spread the ink unto a silkscreen
  • Apply unto a light coloured fabric
  • Allow to air-dry
  • The print turns colourless when exposed to temperature around 22 degree celsius
  • However, if over heated to above 200 degree celsius, irreversible damage to the dye might occur
  • Also, note that mixing the pigment in non-clear bases might  not produce the same results
Preparation of materials
Resulting prints

Applications include:

  • Products naturally exposed to the human heat, creating interaction in the mundane.
  • An example is the masks designed by Marjan Kooroshnia, a Swedish textile-design student
Thermochromic masks
Thermochromic thermometer, furniture, baby bottle and mood ring found on the Internet

Personal reflection:

Chemistry really plays a big role in this application! New technologies and inventions bring about a wave of uses  and solutions to problems.

It also takes some experimentation in the application of these pigments and dyes. When the light yellow thermochromic dye was mixed with blue acrylic paint, the resulting print could not change in colour.

Fibre Etching

Fibre etching (or Devore )  is done using a fibre removing gel that removes plant fibres (like cotton, linen, rayon and paper).  It can be used on fabric blends, paper and wood. Upon further research online, I discovered a treasure trove of details we could take note of. 

http://wwwearables.com/fiber-etch/index.htm

http://www.silkpaint.com/fiber-etch/frequently-asked-questions.htm

Online information about fibre etching
Samples shown in class

Materials required:

  • Silk viscose velvet
  • Cotton polyester blend (at least 50% plant fibres)
  • Silkscreen
  • Brush
  • Iron
  • Baking paper

Technique:

  • Apply the ink onto the fabric using a silkscreen or brush
  • Allow the fabric to dry
  • Place the baking paper atop the fabric
  • Iron on both sides
  • Wash in warm water
Fibre etch gel, silkscreen and velvet
Ironing, washing and drying

Applications include:

Fibre etch and embroidery
Devore curtains and upholstery found on Pinterest
Devore fashion found on Pinterest

Personal reflections:

I did not silkscreen-print the ink onto the back, but the front of the velvet. The second piece of velvet was painted with swirls but only patches emerged after ironing. Perhaps applying the gel unto the back of the cloth would be more successful as the base of the velvet fibre would directly absorb it. Nevertheless, the final effect of devore is stunning and I would love to explore it in the future.