From the Blog...

my themes and interests

In my first tutorial with Julia on November 28th,, we discussed the themes that I am interested in pursuing. I explained my industrial design background and my love of fine worsted wool fabrics especially the handle and great properties they have which are often a surprise to people. I explained that I am aiming to develop a range of products from this cloth. We discussed the fact that fabric the worsted manufacturing industry has produced for decades has  been used mostly as traditional tailored apparel fabric for both men and women. It has also been used in interior design more recently, I aim to explore both the original and contemporary contexts.

I believe there is a strong demand for top quality products that have a distinctively British feel and I have a strong sense that fine worsted fabric is a contemporary product for 2011 and on into the next decade and I am keen to explore the ideas I have to support this theory. Through this research I would like to develop a narrative around my ‘brand’ about the history of worsted cloth and its’ place in contemporary and future contexts.

  • I would like to test my assumptions about the perception of the fabric and whether it has contemporary appeal.
  • I feel that issues surrounding sustainability are very important in 2011 and are only due to become more central to design thinking and I would like to explore the progress that yarn and fabric manufacturing has made in this area and to what extent my ‘brand ‘ could promote sustainability.
  • I am interested in looking at a brief history of worsted cloth development and  compare and contrast it’s original context and appeal, to contemporary contexts in the form of a narrative. Who were the group that the original fabric was intended for and did that change as the fabric became finer and finer? Look at the contemporary context and comment on factors such as the recession and its effect on desires.
  • I am interested in the perception of British design and the appeal of British design here and abroad as I am hoping to export my products.
  • The fabric has a handcrafted element to it,  I sense that there is a new interest in the history of British craft techniques and a reassessment of the value of these techniques and I would like to explore this and see to what extent this is true.

The methodologies that I think could add insight to the research are:

  • Oral history/ Ethnology
  • Historical materialism
  • Narrative development
  • Personal observation
  • Written research, interviews and a short questionnaire, textile and design periodicals.