Basketry : Rhythm, Renewal & Reinvention

“Basketry: Rhythm, Renewal & Reinvention is a visual slice across contemporary UK basket making. There are some 35 makers spilling over all three galleries at Ruthin Craft Centre. The exhibition shows what is being made today – and by whom – across basketry’s beautiful variety of shapes, materials and weaves.” Jane Audas, August 2021

Amanda Fielding, then Curator of the Craft Council Collection, wrote in 1999 for an exhibition titled Interwoven: Objects, Baskets, Forms “as the full title of this exhibition suggests, the term basket is too constraining to describe the plethora of objects to find their way under its umbrella…… there is more to contemporary baskets than orthodox containers and ways of making.” Now some two decades on Basketry: Rhythm, Renewal & Reinvention continues and updates that trajectory of investigation to promote and extend the understanding and appreciation of contemporary basketry.

Basketry is a broad church of intelligent diversity; from the meticulous observance of ancient lore to ‘out-there’ iconoclastic revolutionary forms that challenge both materiality and function. There are of course those who make beautifully woven contemporary vessels informed by the rhythm of tradition; the seasonal pattern of the growth of materials, harvesting and making. Of these some techniques are steeped in history of specific use, others are renewed and adapted for today. While some use and reinvent technique as a springboard to push boundaries and celebrate innovation. Continue reading →

Drawing With Threads: Royal Academy

Join the Royal Academy for a weekend-long weaving course, to reclaim the magic of making through a simultaneously universal and often-overlooked artform.

Taking inspiration from self-taught artists and visceral art making practices – themes that RA Summer Exhibition Coordinator Yinka Shonibare RA will be exploring in this year’s show – artist and weaver Ismini Samanidou leads a course exploring the physicality of working with threads.

Over the weekend, using a small frame loom and threads from Ismini’s studio materials collection, you’ll choose and adapt images, as well as learning to develop a colour palette. You’ll focus on using colour, proportion and texture to develop ideas for a finished piece of work – an approach that is central to Ismini’s practice.

This workshop is part of the RA Summer Exhibition 2021 programme: Reclaiming Magic. Focusing on celebrating the work of historically marginalised and overlooked practitioners, this workshop will celebrate the artistic processes of traditional makers (very often women and people of colour), whose work is often deeply embedded in their cultural worlds.

Participants can bring their own visual references to work from, or will be able to choose from a selection of works relating to the Summer Exhibition and the RA’s permanent collection. Continue reading →

Job Opportunity: BFTT | Dash + Miller R&D Project Lead

This post is an exciting opportunity for a Post Graduate, or Post-Doctoral Researcher (or equivalent demonstrable industry/research experience) to work as the Research & Development (R&D) Project Lead, facilitating a novel collaborative project, between UAL and Dash & Miller.

You will be employed by the University of the Arts London but predominately working remotely, with some travel within the UK and on-site delivery at Dash & Miller’s premises in Bristol.

The Business of Fashion, Textiles & Technology (BFTT) Partnership is a multi-million pound initiative lead by UAL aimed at accelerating the growth of fashion, textile and technology sector through collaborative R&D partnerships and projects.

Dash & Miller have been awarded funding within the BFTT R&D SME Support Programme. The principal aim of the project is to develop R&D around digital textiles to aid design and communication throughout the supply chain.

They are looking for an individual with flexibility to work at sites in Bristol and remotely, with a thorough knowledge of the digital fashion and textiles landscape, as well as the circularity and sustainability opportunities available within the sector.

You will have a PG qualification in the area of fashion and textiles with a focus on the application of digital within the sector, or equivalent research and/or industry experience.

You will have experience of managing textile supply chains from yarn to finishing, and ideally a knowledge of digital product development within the fashion context gained through research and/or relevant R&D industry work. Continue reading →

Call for Entries: 2022 Experimental Weaving Residency

The Unstable Design Lab is excited to host a call for entries for their second Experimental Weaving Residency. This funded residency will take place in winter/spring 2022 and is focused on developing experimental textile structures and concepts in close collaboration with engineers and scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The Unstable Design Lab is hosting its experimental weaving residency with the goal of developing new techniques and open-source resources that can co-evolve fiber arts and engineering practice.

The chosen resident will work with the Unstable Design Lab, as well as researchers from the University of Colorado, to create a series of samples inspired by challenges currently faced by engineering researchers. For example, shape weaving techniques for creating form-fitting and/or compression garments for counter-pressure spacesuits, integration of power harvesting diodes, compostable or easily reusable textile structures for zero-waste manufacturing, or structures that dynamically fold and unfold to support mechanical structures or soft robotics (to name a few, but not all, possible spaces for experimentation).

Applicants should be open-minded, curious, and above all deeply knowledgeable about woven structures and their behaviours. No knowledge of computer science, electronics, or engineering is required for participation. Continue reading →

Holly McQuillan: Weaving Multimorphic Textile-Forms


When Holly McQuillan began her PhD almost 5 years ago, she knew very little about the process of weaving or its potential to transform her research practice, which was primarily form-focused in the context of zero waste fashion design and pattern cutting. However, her experience at the Department of Design in the Swedish School of Textiles provided access to exciting technology and skillful colleagues, and combined with her inherent curiosity to lead to a body of research that operates at the boundary between weave thinking and form thinking, helping to grow the emerging field of textile-form (or 3D) weaving.

Holly came to weaving through her experience consulting with industry and researching zero waste design practices and pattern cutting. Like weaving, zero waste garment design is inherently an ancient practice that values textiles first and foremost. In contrast the fashion industry values speed and cost first. As McQuillan discovered during one of her PhD case studies, the industry would rather waste 4km of virgin textiles (on a single style and size for a season!), than add a single seam. In response, Holly’s research began to explore alternative systems of garment and form creation, coming to focus on textile-form weaving, which, like 3D (seamless and fully fashioned) knitting, enables the simultaneous and on-demand creation of textile and form.

The majority of 3D woven garments have been developed by textile designers, so Holly was interested to explore the potential of applying a zero waste form-making lens to the design of weave-able 3D forms. Beginning with simple t-shirt forms (one shown below), the experiments in McQuillan’s PhD, “Zero Waste Systems Thinking: Multimorphic Textile-forms”, progressively build a foundation of the textile-form thinking skills needed to construct these complex topologies.

Continue reading →

New Loom Developments: vLoom Jacquard & The Oxford Frame Loom

This post features two new weaving loom developments. The vLoom is a prototype and The Oxford Frame Loom  is available now

vLoom

Miles Visman is a computer programmer by profession, creating games for consoles, PCs and mobiles. He learnt how to code in the late 1980s while doing a Fine Art degree which led to programming computers to generate visuals for pop videos and interactive installations. In the last ten years he has been teaching himself to weave and he codes algorithms to create both the patterns and weave structures which he then hand weaves.

Six years ago he attended a Jacquard weaving course, run by Julie Holyoke and Eva Basile, at Lisio Foundation in Florence and learning how traditional Jacquard looms work and their part in the development of computers. Subsequently he visited the TextileLab in the Netherlands where under the guidance of Stef Miero he learnt how to produce textiles on their state of the art computer controlled looms.
Inspired by these experiences he developed an obsession to build his own Jacquard loom. With the wide availability of laser cutting and 3d printing combined with the whole electronic maker world of Arduinos etc it is much easier to build prototypes. (And over the years there have been quite a few!) In the last twelve months he has found a design that works and has steadily built up a loom capable of controlling 176 individual warps. Alongside which he has developed software available on his website  to both generate new patterns and that can also be used to fill those patterns with weave structures. Continue reading →

Job Opportunity: BFTT | ReWeave R&D Project Lead

ReWeave R&D Project Lead  is an exciting opportunity for a Postgraduate or Post-Doctoral Researcher (or equivalent demonstrable industry/research experience) to work as the Research & Development (R&D) Project Lead to facilitate a collaborative project with ReWeave – a woven textile studio based in London and Hastings that has been awarded funding within the BFTT R&D SME Support Programme.

The aim of the project is to develop R&D around sustainable woven textile design and manufacture using industry waste fabrics.

The role involves working collaboratively with Academic Mentors from the Centre for Circular Design and Textile Futures Research Community at University of the Arts London and the Company Lead at the Reweave Ltd.

You can find more information about the role here.

Instagram:@re_weave_

With thanks to BFTT and Kirsty McDougall for text & images

Continue reading →

Company Profile: AKHL

AKHL was founded by Akhil Nagpal in 2019.

AKHL is defined by its commitment to innovation, experimentation and the crafting of evocative pieces of fashion by contemporising traditional Indian handcrafting and handweaving techniques.

Essential to its designs are distinctive and complex textiles, engineered using unusual and often upcycled materials, employing a wide range of processes including hand weaving, traditional Indian hand embroidery, hand printing, applique and spectrum dyeing.

Ultimately, these signature textiles, in conjunction with handwoven and new age fabrics, are meticulously tailored into inventive and evocative luxury womenswear.

Since its founding, AKHL has been a recipient of various awards and honours. It showcased its debut collection at Lakme Fashion Week SS20 as the winner of the prestigious Gen Next Competition and won The Grazia Young Fashion Award in 2021.

It has also been awarded the curated title ‘Black Sheep’ on Not Just A Label, given to the most innovative and striking designers on the platform.

AKHL has been featured on the ‘Label Alert’ segment in Harper’s Bazaar India and Grazia India as well as in various other editorials by leading Indian fashion publications including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia and Cosmopolitan.

Reflektor SS21 Collection
AKHL SS21 collection has been visually inspired by interactions and distortions of light and colour. The studio has  studied these interactions in highly-engineered and uniquely processed reflective installation artworks by Olafur Eliasson and James Turnell, as well as in softer, yet equally compelling, natural reflective surfaces.

These vivid colour and light visual studies helped them develop new-age handwoven and hand-embroidered textiles as well as sharply-cut sculptural silhouettes, all of them ultimately culminating into an innovative and evocative collection of modern ensembles.

The most dominant textile in this collection has been their handwoven/hand-embroidered silk-raffia mesh. This textile is first meticulously woven on a handloom, it has a raw silk warp and a raffia weft.

Continue reading →

Textile Innovation from Sudō Reiko: Talk & Conversation

Textile Innovation from Sudō Reiko: Talk & Conversation
Online Event
Date: Tuesday 27 April 2021, 12:00-13:00 BST
Booking Essential; Admission Free. Click here for link

Join Japan House for a special online talk with pioneering textile designer Sudō Reiko whose innovative works are featured in Japan House London’s exhibition MAKING NUNO Japanese Textile Innovation from Sudō Reiko.

As the Design Director of leading textile design firm Nuno and a member of the Japan Design Committee, Sudō Reiko is renowned for pushing boundaries of textile production and championing new methods of sustainable manufacturing.

During this talk she gives a special insight into the creative processes, craftmanship, techniques, and materials that are woven into her wide range of innovative textiles.

Following her talk, Sudō is joined by Anne Marr, Programme Director for Jewellery, Textiles and Materials at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London in a conversation chaired by Japan House London’s Programming Director Simon Wright.

There is an opportunity for registered guests to ask questions to the speakers during this live online event.

The exhibition MAKING NUNO Japanese Textile Innovation from Sudō Reiko opens in the Japan House London Gallery on 17 May, subject to UK government guidelines. See previous post on The Weave Shed

 MAKING NUNO: Japanese Textile Innovation from Sudō Reiko

Japan House London Launches Exhibition of Critically Acclaimed Textile Designer Sudō Reiko

MAKING NUNO Japanese Textile Innovation from Sudō Reiko is a brand-new exhibition adaptation presenting work by internationally acclaimed Japanese textile designer Sudō Reiko with projection installations designed by the exhibition’s artistic director, Saitō Seiichi of Panoramatiks (formerly Rhizomatiks Architecture).

Produced in collaboration with CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) in Hong Kong, the exhibition expands on the successful show in 2019 curated by Takahashi Mizuki, Executive Director and Chief Curator of CHAT.

The free exhibition reveals how Sudō Reiko’s work pushes the boundaries of textile production with unconventional and sustainable materials and engineering techniques, working with manufacturers from across Japan

Featuring five large-scale installations combining NUNO textiles and art projections by leading technological designers Panoramatiks from Tokyo, shown for the first time in the UK, with supporting drawings and sketches, raw materials, design prototypes, and video.

Launches Monday 17 May 2021

Japan House London presents an exhibition showcasing the innovative work of textile designer Sudō Reiko. Running from 17 May ‒ 11 July 2021, this new exhibition, with art direction by Saitō Seiichi of Panoramatiks (formerly Rhizomatiks Architecture), shines a spotlight on the Japanese designer pushing the boundaries of textile production and championing new methods of sustainable manufacture.

Design Director of leading textile design firm NUNO for over 30 years, Sudō trained as a textile and industrial designer, and she designs fabrics that incorporate traditions of Japanese crafts with new engineering techniques and unusual combinations of materials. She works with materials as diverse as silk, hand-made washi (Japanese paper) nylon tape and thermoplastic, and technologies derived from Japanese hand craft traditions such as caustic burning, weaving and dying. Her inspiring designs are currently housed in collections around the world, including in MoMA in New York and in the V&A in London.

The exhibition at Japan House London includes five large-scale installations of Sudō’s work with the manufacturing processes brought to life by Saitō Seiichi’s artistic direction. Using a variety of thought-provoking processes from washi dyeing to chemical lace embroidery inspired by rolls of paper, each installation is accompanied by drawings and sketches, alongside raw materials and design prototypes.

Visitors to the exhibition encounter a series of installations that demonstrates the ways in which Sudō uses innovation and creativity to make steps towards building a more sustainable global textile production industry, with particular focus on the sustainability of materials, regional manufacturing industries and craftsmanship.

Sustainability of Material:
Explore how Sudō harnesses unconventional materials such as washi alongside textile techniques such as heating and bonding to create entirely original works.

Not to be missed, Kibiso Crisscross, a collaborative project with the Tsuruoka Textile Makers Cooperative, takes discarded kibiso, the protective outer layer of silk cocoons and uses a specially developed machine to create yarns from the tough remnants, creating the first step towards realising the ‘no-waste, use everything potential’ not previously seen in the silk industry.

Sustainability of Regional Manufacturing
Explore the origins of Sudō’s work, following her decades of work with family-run factories across Japan which specialise in different production techniques, collaborating with each to develop new, alternative production methods to push the possibilities of industrial machinery making and help revitalise these regional manufacturing hubs.

Sustainability of Traditions and Craftsmanship
Discover Sudō’s designs that revive old textile machines and Japanese craftsmanship on the verge of disappearing. Learn how she incorporates intricate craftsmanship into industrial textile production, collaborating with different experts and artisans along the way to help preserve craft heritage through upcycling and reinvention.

Sudō Reiko, Textile Designer and Design Director of NUNO:
“Japanese textiles are born of a long history, embracing both refined traditions of artistry and unparalleled high-tech materials. Since 1984, Nuno has collaborated with skilled local artisans all over Japan using a wide variety of different fibres and techniques to craft some 3000 different textiles. Among these are the richly textured maku partitions to be displayed in the centre of Japan House London’s ground floor. Much more than a mere ‘curtain’, these textiles afford entry into a visionary realm with a uniquely Japanese essence. Please step inside and be transported into our weaving wonderland.”

Continue reading →