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The Royal Pavillion – Brighton: His Majesty’s Geranium and Gold Silk

Humphries Weaving of Sudbury, Suffolk was involved in the prestigious national restoration at the Brighton Pavilion Saloon 

Built for George IV when he was Prince of Wales, the Royal Pavilion in Brighton is one of the most extravagant buildings of its age.

The room is now faithfully restored to its 1823 glory after conservation and restoration work started in 2002 and costing in the region of £390,000.

Highlights of the restoration include silver and ‘pearl white’ wall decoration using platinum leaf and the revitalisation of the magnificent gilding. A newly commissioned reproduction circular carpet by Axminster Carpets, with a lavish design of dragons, sun rays and lotus leaves adorns the floor.

Geranium and Gold silk woven by Humphries Weaving, Sudbury has been used for wall panels, magnificent drapery and furniture. A film has been made of the process of reproducing the original fabric.

The quest for His Majesty’s silk from Humphries Weaving on Vimeo. Continue reading →

Flex | Phyllis Hahn

Flex: Exploring flexibility through solid and soft materials in woven structures, is a textile design collection by recent graduate Phyllis Hahn from the Swedish School of Textiles. A work which challenges the traditional function and behaviour of woven textiles by exploring flexibility, scale and materials.

Her work started out with an interest in the border between textiles and furniture. With a focus on the carpet, questions such as ’what is a carpet and when does its function change?’ pushed the work forward.

Eventually, this evolved into a exploration of flexibility within woven structures and by integrating solid materials such as wood and cardboard into the weaving process and combining those with pliable materials such as wool, polyester and cotton, she explores flexibility in the weave through materials and their opposite qualities.

The materials each have their inherent qualities and the weaving technique presents a physical realm in which they have to cooperate. In this way the solid material becomes flexible and also gives flexibility to the woven structure due to its weight, shape and placement. Continue reading →

Tengri Textile Innovation Award Winner 2018: Henrietta Johns

Henrietta Johns is the winner of the new Tengri Textile Innovation Award 2018.

Tengri, a luxury material innovator and pioneering fashion and lifestyle brand, announced the winners of its inaugural Tengri Innovation Award, launched this year to encourage the implementation of sustainable fashion and textiles working towards a more sustainable industry standard and future.

The award was open to final-year students of the Tengri Innovation Partnership, an initiative which includes some of the UK’s most influential academic and creative institutions.

Designers were invited to present innovative and sustainable approaches to textiles, to meet criteria set to demonstrate forward-thinking conceptualisation of sustainable fibres and practices that rework cultural and traditional techniques. Critically, these practices would be set to demonstrate the preservation of heritage in fabrication, construction and production.

London design house Tengri, champions the use of rare fibres from endemic animals, including the yak, an ancient animal dating back 10,000 years, and a rare species of yak from the Khangai region of Mongolia unrecognised by the textile industry until Tengri’s launch in 2014.

The studio is committed to referencing nature and natural reinvention to create a sustainable future, and working to commercialise heritage and traditional techniques as part of a sustainable production cycle in luxury fashion.

Applicants of the Tengri Innovation Awards were not only invited to present proposals for the integration of sustainable fibres, but also how this would further be developed in their approach and techniques post-graduation.

As winner of the Tengri Innovation Award, Henrietta receives a one-year mentorship with Tengri, as well as a six-month paid internship supported with Tengri Noble Yarns for production and a cash prize.

Henrietta Johns, recently graduated inBA (Hons) Textile Design  from Central Saint Martins, specialising in woven textiles. Her work is rooted in a deep exploration of natural animal fibres and innovative designs using traditional felting techniques, creating new fabric surfaces with 100% animal fibre. Continue reading →

Norn x Denim Days

This September New York Textile Month takes over the City for its third year. As part of the month long celebration of fabric and making;  Denim Days is returning for a weekend of all things Indigo.

Norn Design is exhibiting at Denim Days with its new Denim Collection of samples and concept pieces.  Look for Norn Design in the program for stand info.

The Norn studio is tucked behind London’s only Craft Jean Factory: Blackhorse Lane Ateliers . Infected by the hum of the denim factory, Norn began dreaming about the possibilities of handwoven denim. Starting with the basics, Indigo and Cotton, they have been expanding and challenging the notion of ‘Denim’ as a woven cloth.

Through exploration of texture, structure, colour and hand weaving techniques we have developed a collection of Norn Denims.

The collection of hand woven denims recognises tradition whilst being focused firmly on the untapped potential of denim. From denim cloth for fashion, to corded and hand tufted rugs, hand woven art pieces and denim blankets Norn Denim is a range of conceptual objects and ideas that ask you to consider what denim can be. Continue reading →

Anni Albers: Tate Modern

This autumn Tate Modern will present the UK’s first major retrospective of the work of Anni Albers (1899-1994). This exhibition will bring together her most important works from major collections in the US and Europe, many of which will be shown in the UK for the first time, to highlight Albers’s significance as an artist.

Opening ahead of the centenary of the Bauhaus in 2019, this exhibition is long overdue recognition of Albers’s pivotal contribution to modern art and design, and part of Tate Modern’s wider commitment to showing artists working in textiles.

Anni Albers combined the ancient craft of hand-weaving with the language of modern art, finding within the medium many possibilities for the expression of modern life.

Featuring over 350 objects including beautiful small-scale studies, large wall-hangings, jewellery made from everyday items, and textiles designed for mass production, this exhibition will explore the many aspects of Albers’s practice – such as the intersection between art and craft; hand-weaving and machine production; ancient and modern.

Albers held a long-standing interest in the relationship between textiles and architecture and the show will highlight her lesser-known commissioned works in this area. The exhibition design will take inspiration from the artist’s own writings, such as her seminal essay ‘The Pliable Plane: Textiles in Architecture’, 1957, in which Albers advocates ‘a new understanding between the architect and the inventive weaver’.

Born in Berlin at the turn of the century, Annelise Else Frieda Fleischmann became a student at the Bauhaus in 1922, where she met her husband Josef Albers and other key modernist figures like Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. Though the Bauhaus aspired to equality between the sexes, women were still discouraged from learning certain disciplines including painting. Albers began weaving by default, but it was in textiles that she found her means of expression, dedicating herself to the medium for the majority of her career.

The exhibition will explore how, here in the school’s vibrant weaving workshop, traditional hand-weaving was redefined as modern art. Continue reading →

Exhibition: ‘Praktis | Mind and Matter

‘Praktis | Mind and Matter: The Making of Craft

Fifteen designer makers are exhibiting their work in  Bury Court Barn and its garden in October.

The exhibitors, renowned practitioners in ceramics, wood, willow, jewellery and textiles will show pieces for sale or commission, and reveal their thinking, inspiration and working methods in practical demonstrations and illustrated talks during the exhibition.

The stages of making – the consideration, the preparation and the sheer repetition of creating something by hand, all play an equal part in the finished object.

Ideas often take hours of work on paper or experimenting with materials before they are made. It is necessary to understand and learn from traditions, but for a contemporary maker to move forward requires having an idea that can push both the materials and the technique in a new direction: this can be extremely satisfying both for the maker and the observer, as it both respects but also questions what can be achieved with the materials and technique. Continue reading →

Makers’ Tales’: Catarina Riccabona

‘Makers’ Tales’ showcase: Catarina Riccabona at the Guy Goodfellow Collection Showroom

 In celebration of the London Design Festival, textile artist and weaver Catarina Riccabona will be joining the series of  ‘Makers’ Tales’ showcases in the Guy Goodfellow Collection showroom.

Cartarina loves working with her hands. She enjoy the flexibility, the spontaneous changes and the direct contact with the materials that is possible when weaving by hand.

She makes one-off interior pieces, mostly throws, and, more recently, wall hangings.

Her textiles are often large compositions featuring areas of juxtaposed weave structures.

Catarinas’ practice is based on environmental values. She works with a well-researched selection of yarns. She predominantly use natural (unbleached, undyed) linen in her warps. For the weft yarns she likes to work with linen, hemp, wool, alpaca and second-hand or recycled yarns.

Her favourite supplier for plant-dyed wool is a woman in Finland who grows all the ingredients in her own garden and dyes small batches of local rare breed wool by hand.

Every time her results differ slightly, and Catarina loves these subtle and unpredictable nuances.

Recycled linen can be another source of colour and also Catarina buys it from a UK company that re-spins industrial surplus into new yarn. The colours are limited and depend on what is available at any given time. She enjoys this challenge of finding solutions within a set of limitations.

Catarina also collect warp remnants from weave colleagues which she knots them back together to form a continuous string to be used in the weft. During weaving the little knots appear all over the cloth and form a distinct feature that is reminiscent of elements in tribal textiles from all over the world.

This hand-made and natural character that is typical of tribal textiles has always had a strong appeal for her.

‘Makers’ Tales’ showcases invited artists and makers in a series of exhibitions designed to celebrate the fine traditions of artisan design and production.

The latest showcase “Catarina Riccabona Hand-woven Textiles” is on from 17th September to 12th October. She will be at the GGC showroom on the 20th September for a “Meet the Maker” day to discuss her work and explain the ethos behind her practice.

Guy Goodfellow Collection Showroom.15 Langton Street, London SW10 0JB
www.guygoodfellowcollection.com   Tel: 020 7352 9002

Text and images, with thanks to Catarina Riccabona

2018 Graduate Weavers: University of Huddersfield

Laura Trowsdale
Laura graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a First Class BSc (Hons) degree in woven textiles. During her final year of study Laura was awarded winner of the Northern England heat and runner-up in the UK final of the Society of Dyers & Colourists International Design Competition.

In addition to showcasing her final collection at New Designers she previously completed work placements at M&S Head Office, woven design studio Rare Thread and trend forecasting agencies Scarlet Opus, Colour Hive and Unique Style Platform after successfully being awarded a bursary by The Clothworkers Company.

Her final collection combined innovative colour blending and traditional, technical leno hand weaving skills. Presented in a palette that ranged from fresh bright to deep dark tones, the set of sophisticated fabrics were directed towards the high end apparel market.

Early sample developments adopted a multidisciplinary approach; combining woven textiles and digital print. Continue reading →

Exhibition: Seeking Form | Hannah Robson


Hannah Robson is a textile artist, interested in the spatial qualities of textiles.

She constructs sculptural pieces using combinations of weaving and lace-making, exploring how threads can escape the traditional vertical and horizontal pathways imposed by the loom.

She creates opportunities for threads to break away from woven surfaces, taking alternative routes and joining together in three-dimensional forms.

She exploits the tensions between rigorously controlled constructions and free-flowing loose threads, balancing structure and chaos.

A range of two and three-dimensional works will be displayed at The North Wall, including Ersilia, an installation commissioned by the Crafts Council, recently exhibited at Collect

Open 2018.At The North Wall Arts Centre
Date: 4th-21st Septemeber 2018
The North Wall,
South Parade
Summertown
Oxford
OX2 7JN

Open 10am-4pm Monday – Friday: 12-4pm Saturdays.

Further information available at thenorthwall.com or hannah-robson.com

Première Vision Designs: The Aviary Studio

Launched in the Spring of 2016, and now in their third year of business, The Aviary Studio make their debut in the Première Visions DESIGNS hall 5, stand no: 5SW46 this September 2018.

The Aviary Studio is a UK based hand weaving studio and design consultancy founded by British designer and established weaver Sarah Podlesny, a Central Saint Martins alumni who has a clear vision to inspire, and to fill the constant demand for newness in an age where ‘copying’ has become standard practice.

Fabric design is often overlooked in favour of the cut and style of a garment, wovens often overlooked in favour of print, and with this in mind, it is The Aviary Studio’s aim to put the spotlight back on wovens, celebrate their cultural importance, their versatility and the invaluable talent and craftsmanship of their makers.

Each season, extensive trend, colour and materials research is gathered, interpreted and applied through the medium of hand weaving, in order to offer a collection of directional fabric ideas that are integral to the design process within mainstream and high end retail. Continue reading →