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RSA Project & Charity Shop Materials

7 Jan

Recently I have been trying to juggle numerous tasks, some of which are family and work orientated, others relate to university work. I have managed to do a few drawings and a little research for the RSA brief entitled ‘Make Something Disappear’. I plan to use recycled materials where possible when producing samples for this project and will therefore have this in mind throughout the design process. After scouring the charity shops this week I came across some outdated maps, which I intend to use as a base for some collage and stitch, mixed media pieces. As well as this I bought a couple of jars of old buttons and some books, which will no doubt come in useful!

I also attempted to unravel an old hand knitted jumper this week, however the outcome was not entirely successful with much of the jumper made from small lengths of yarn knotted together. I hope I will still be able to produce some useful samples for this project with the recycled yarn. Below are some images I took whilst unravelling the jumper:



RSA Project-Make Something Disappear

23 Dec

‘Make Something Disappear’ is the title of the third project I am working  on this semester but it is in fact one of the RSA competition briefs, which I chose to tackle. This brief is very challenging and requires a lot of thinking and careful consideration of how textile design can be applied to a brief which looks at current global issues such as the lack of natural resources and the need for sustainable design. This is an area that I am passionate about and have chosen to investigate further for my dissertation. I am particularly interested in researching the role technology could play in reducing the environmental impact of the textile design industry.

However for this project I intend to create/design a desirable and unique garment or soft furnishing from recycled yarn. I would like to work with recycled yarn and other recycled materials such as buttons and zips where necessary as this eliminates waste, decreases the consumption of natural resources and the amount of energy required to dispose of unwanted textile items.

If I dye the recycled yarn I will use environmentally friendly, natural dyes, as this is something I experimented with over the summer and is in keeping with the suggested sustainable guidelines of the brief. (If it is not possible to use natural dyes in the time provided I will specify that natural dyes would be used in the information provided alongside my final design).

I am also interested in looking at textile items, which are multifunctional or can be adapted, as items that can create multiple looks can eliminate the need for 4 or 5 other items for example. As well as this I intend to research textile items that are designed so that the can be transformed in to something else after their intended primary use.

I will include some photographs of my drawings at a later date and some information about my inspiration but I probably shouldn’t give everything away as this work is for a competition after all!

Earthkeepers footwear collection by Timberland

3 Nov

Left:  Timberland Earthkeepers Boots

Further to my last post i have been thinking about the choices designers make and how they can ensure their product is sustainable, environmentally friendly and produced following Fair Trade guidelines for example.

Whilst flicking through an old copy of Glamour magazine (July 2010) to source some images for collage and mixed media pieces I came across an article about the Earthkeepers collection by Timberland. Timberland is a well-known brand but I did not realise that the environmental implications of creating a Timberland footwear collection has been considered.

About the Earthkeepers collection:

  • The leather for the shoes is obtained from responsibly managed tanneries, this is based on energy use, waste production and water treatment. (This perhaps does not take in to consideration suitable working conditions and a reasonable level of pay?)
  • The detail on the shoes is added with organic cotton and raffia.
  • Recycled plastic bottles are used to create the linings of the shoes.
  • The ‘Greenside Sandals’ can be recycled to make new sandals.
  • ‘Belicia Ring Ankle Sandals’ are made from 42% recycled tyres.

To have a look at the collection please follow this link:,default,sc.html

Knitting with Recycled Fur

26 Oct

Recently I have been thinking about my dissertation and what I would perhaps like to write about. My initial ideas are based around what a designer needs to consider, such as fair trade, the environmental impacts of their work and the quality and source of the materials they use. Whilst carrying out some research I came across this article based on knitting with recycled fur!

The image featured is of a coat knitted with recycled fur by Anastasia and Nina.

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