The Melting Point of Wax

The next step after dying my fabric was to look at coating it. I’ve chosen to experiment with waxing my fabric –  I really love the feel of it, how it changes to colours of the fabrics – as a method of waterproofing my material. I’d previously experimented with using scotch guard but there was no noticeable different to the fabric which was quite disappointing.

After speaking with Irene I started to experiment wth different ways in which I can wax my fabrics. Firstly I tried an all over wax which I achieved by rubbing the wax onto the fabric, similar to using a crayon, and then ironing so that the wax sank into the fabric. I then moved on to melting the wax before applying to the fabric to see if this would be a quicker way of waxing my fabric as I have 3 metres that needs to be waxed. However, the wax solidified too much on the brush before, causing dried wax strip over the fabric. As this didn’t melt into the fabric, I then had to iron the wax so that it would absorb into the fabric.


The final wax experiment I tried was to draw a grid over the fabric with the wax, which was actually really easy. I used the wax, again like a crayon, to draw the lines of the grid shape. The wax expands into the fabric when it gets melted, making to the lines thicker. I didn’t expect to like this experiment, I was prepared to try it and dismiss it but I actually really like it. I’m not keen on the fact that if I wax in a grid pattern not all of the fabric will be waterproof, however the visual effect was really cool.

Trying to keep this idea of having a grid on my fabric also, I took one of my fully waxed sample into the print room, and using a deep orange colour, I printed a grid over the fabric. Where the fabric was lighter in colour the grid was more prominent, then subtle becoming less noticeable the darker the fabric good which was a really cool effect. At the moment I’m really interested in using this technique for my jacket fabric as this would insure that my whole jacket is waterproof.



In My Time of Dying Part 3

With my garment fabrics in tow, it was time to see how the direct dyes took to the downproof cotton. Its cotton so I was pretty sure that it would work, but there’s always that little niggle which makes you think it won’t. It did though, so this is a happy tale.

Creating two of the same dye baths from my last bought of experiments, a dusky red dye bath and a purple/brown dye bath, I set to work with figuring out the timings and colourings with my new fabric. The colours were very similar to the results I got with the cotton twill, if slightly more on the pink side, however the purple/brown dye bath which had a much more pink tinge to it, so I started to adjust the dye amounts and colours mixed, to achieve the colours I was looking for. Once I had the colours down, I started to experimenting with creating different ombre patterns on larger fabric samples as a way of replicating my original image and idea.

There’s a fine line when
working with red and pink tones between being appropriate for your market, or looking to feminine, and some of my samples were too feminine, where I was using a pale dusky pink colour as the base, and ombre in a dark dusky red, the result was decidedly pink. So in between these two dye baths, I added in a new colour. From the purple dye bath, I went back to the original colour measurements to create that brown/purple, which once dye on top of already colour fabrics, was a much more dusky brown (and I saying dusky a lot? I feel like I am). The result was soooo nice! It is beautiful. I love it and I can’t wait to cover my whole jacket it in! that’s who nice it is!


My Mood Board City Continued …

I did it. I made a concentrated effort to finish my mood boards and I have. Hopefully! its not been easy. in fact I’ve been sat at this laptop since I got home, which was about 7/7.30pm I believe. So that’s a long time to spend on mood boards but I just couldn’t seem to get the placement right first time around. Thankfully however, I’ve managed to make a complete set of boards that I’m actually really happy with. wanna see?

London trip itinerary


Next week, Tuesday to be precise. Tuesday at 11.10am to be precisely precise.

It’s the fabric recon mission! In London. Oh yeah. But not only that, it’s the super cultural day of inspiration. Ok so I made that up but I do plan to visit loads of places and gather loads of ideas and inspiration so it’s not that far out.

Amazingly, super fashion tech dem Beth has offered to make a list of the best fabrics places to visit for my collection. I also plan to google any streetwear brands that are in and around London because it’s so much nicer to see things in person than looking online.

I’m hoping that this trip will be a really great idea gathering trip which will really help to propel my collection to the next level.

My mood board city

I’ve just started to create my mood boards. I’ve left it this long because I’ve been over thinking them. I know I have been and yet I couldn’t quite bring myself to stop. I wanted them to look perfect from the outset, rather than a work in progress that can inspire and develop my ideas. It was time to suck it up and create. The mood boards are a vital part of a collection and not just because we’ve always been told to make them, but because they truly do help to cut down ideas and to give you an intended path, which is what I need right now.

I’m still trying to approach my mood boards in a professional manner. I’ve been searching on atrsthreads to find really contemporary and well, really good looking, examples. I’ve never had a problem with over filling my mood boards, if anything I probably under fil so I’m ok in the regard, I just have to think  more about matching aspects together that create a narrative that I can follow clearly, and making sure that they look and feel contemporary and say exactly what I want my collection to be.

Here goes!


Another Day in Paradise – Phil Collins, 1989

She calls out to the man on the street

‘Sir, can you help me?

It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,

Is there somewhere you can tell me?’


I love this song, so much. It makes me happy because it’s such a good song, but then it can also make me so incredibly sad when I stop and listen to what’s being sung. It’s one of those songs that can hit you on a soul deep level and keep you in a melancholy state for hours on end.

When I first heard this song, I didn’t realise there was an ulterior meaning, or that it was anything other than a rock song; and then one day I was on the bus and this song came on, and I’m bobbing my head along with the beat just thinking that it’s a cool song, I didn’t need to skip it, and then I listened.

I listened as Phil Collins sang about this poor woman who’s trying to find just one small piece of compassion, someone who will help her. From each verse, it seems that a few months or years has passed in this woman’s life; from the first verse where she’s probably looking a little less composed as she would have been, but still relatively healthy, then to the next and the next, where her health and appearance are deteriorating. Through all this time not one person helps her, they ignore her, purposely avoid her because she doesn’t fit in, because she doesn’t look like everyone else. It breaks my heart to think that because no one will help her, she’ll carry on deteriorating, which will just cause her to be ostracised even more, cause more pain in her life.

The woman in this song is homeless.

She has no home, other than where she can find room on the street. She obviously has no way to change that situation because she’s desperately asking anyone and everyone for help. She’s lost, in pain, and no one cares.

That is why this song break my heart. Because no one cares. No one cares that her life has turned upside down; no one cares that she doesn’t have a home, probably doesn’t have a job or anyway to look after herself. No one cares.

When this song was released it won many awards, loads of people loved it, and it was the first number one song of the 1990s. Then it started to get criticised. It created a lot of controversy, which, of course, the critics didn’t like. Probably thinking that music is an escape for most people, why should there be such hard hitting messages within, but that is something I love about this song. That music is an escape. People who have the privilege to music probably have a home, I know I do, and a good one too. I like to listen to music to stop thinking about what work I have left to do, or to block out the children screaming on the bus. I want to get away from it all and listen to something that makes me happy. And that’s where Phil Collins slammed his message. He took the escape of music and turned it into a way to bring awareness of the homeless. He wasn’t asking anyone to do anything, give money or anything like that. He was simply telling us about this woman; a short snippet of what she’s endured, and I think that’s why I find this song so hard hitting.

How could I possibly do nothing after hearing that? I admit, I have a heart for homeless people. I can’t stand to think that in a country or society that has as much money as we do, there are people who don’t even have a home. Where there are, empty buildings boarded up, empty homes, and yet there are still people sleeping outside. I can’t stand it. But I love how this song takes that reality, and pushes it into people’s minds.

This song is one of the main inspirations for my project. I want to create a collection that’s like this song, It doesn’t ask for anything, but it tells you the cold hard truth of the lives of the homeless. How so many people turn away, pretend they can’t hear them. The idea I have for my collection is to take this, this awareness of homeless people, and show it. Phil Collins got people to listen, and I want people to see that same message within my collection. I plan to use imagery and wording within my designs, showing what homeless people see around them. I plan to take photos of the streets and surround buildings, maybe collect some lost stuff, or draw. I want to take this imagery into my designs and mix it with some hard-hitting messages to create a collection that draws attention in such away, that while not asking for anyone to do anything, they’re moved to.

I’m still standing – Reflective Statement

I have enjoyed this project, and though it’s duration I have realised that I’m not interested in just one area of textiles, say stationery or fashion, but I’m more interested in surface design, and how that can then be used. For this project, I very much worked with design first, and then thinking about how I could use and manipulate these into the surfaces as needed, and I’ve loved it.

Not only was I able to carry on using and developing my confidence and skills with screen printing throughout this project, but I also experimented with other hand printing techniques, such a woodcut and collagraph, which I haven’t used very often. I like the time it takes, with screen printing and woodcut, to be able to ready and create my designs. The long process of coating and exposing a screen, and the even longer time of carving a woodcut is something that’s unavailable through digital processes, and is one I enjoy. I’m able to work through every step of the creating process with these hand printing techniques, and that’s something that I always want to be able to do.

I’ve been doing something new this year, and I can’t quite pinpoint it, but I’ve enjoyed this whole project. I think it’s a combination of the theme I chose, the client, the colours, the techniques and materials; which have all resulted in a collection that I’ve found easy to be inspired by. Last year I thought that I was inspired by nature, that was nothing compare to how much I enjoyed this very urban and modern collection. I’m a city girl, why I thought I would get more inspiration from nature than the city I don’t know, but I’m just glad that I’ve found what I’m actually inspired by at the beginning of third year. My presentation skills have definitely improved, and I feel that I’m much more confident in speaking about my own work, and I think that this project has helped with that.

This project has prepared me for the degree show, its shown me the style I like to work in, what things I find influential to my designing, and given me the freedom to think in term of surface pattern design which can then be taken into any field. I like the thought of working in whatever discipline your inspired to by a certain brief or idea, and not trying to force an idea onto a certain product, for example I doubt my collection would have been as successful if I’d been making an interior collection.

I have really liked working on a live brief, it’s a sort of introduction into what a designing career would be like, and while this wasn’t a collaborative collection, I still like that I’d been able to speak with others near me, brainstorm and help each other. It makes me think that this is what a team dynamic would be like, helping each other to be better, and to encourage. I’ve also loved seeing what other have created and how different everyone is, it’s inspiring.