Claire Garner – Textile Design

Before I worked in interior design, I spent three blissful years at university as a textile designer. I came across some of my old work recently, and thought perhaps it was time for a little trip down memory lane.

This project was born out of a love of colour, pattern, and collecting all things pretty.

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It began with a small collection of teacups. A small collection that grew and grew. Being a student, I wasn’t able to pop to Wedgewood and pick up their finest bone china. This meant scouring charity shops and car boot sales, which could be pretty hit and miss, BUT when I did come across a little gem, it was all the more special.

As the collection grew, I got out my pencil and watercolours and made studies of all the amazing colours and patterns.

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From these studies, I created cartoons (a technical term for mock ups in textile design), laying out ideas of how to translate these patterns and colours into weave structures.

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Once I had finished creating my cartoons, I made lots of colour photocopies, chopped them up and played around with different combinations. I wanted to recreate the look of my mix matched collection of tea cups, an eclectic mix of the different styles coming together.

Once I decided on my final designs, I set about hand dying my silk. I didn’t regret choosing such a varied palette of colours at all…

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In the end, I wove 3 pieces, each 3 metres long, each with 1500 threads making up the warp (the threads that run on the loom and made up the colourful stripes). Each piece took about 2 weeks to put onto the loom and weave. It was a tight deadline and seemed a near impossible task at the time, but as things always do, it worked out in the end.

I can honestly say that blood, sweat and a fair few tears went into this, but I have never been prouder of a piece of my own work.

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