Conversations on Slow Textiles

The audio from the TED members day out on a barge, 'Conversations on (a) Slow Craft' as mentioned in a previous post, is available for listening now online.

It was recorded by artist Russell Martin and documents several TED members discussion about the idea of 'slow' in their practice as textile designers.


Thrifty approaches to textile reuse in Japan and UK

Becky Earley has been up in York presenting at the Japanese Sashiko textiles conference which coincides with a major exhibition of sashiko textiles at York Art Gallery. Becky presented her Top 100 upcycled polyester shirt project, which is currently on show at the Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution exhibition in Birmingham.

The word 'sashiko' means small stitches and the curator of the exhibition Michele Walker, had studied English quilting techniques and saw the similarities - both techniques had arisen out of necessity and had involved women who were creating new garments from old clothes and textiles, mostly cotton workwear. As Michele Walker explains, "Sashiko evolved from a need
to conserve and repair garments at a time when cloth was a precious commodity".

Becky's pioneering work re-using polyester blouses is set in a completely different historical and cultural context to Japanese sashiko, however the same motivations apply - how to reuse textile waste and to conserve resources. However, Becky has taken on one of the hardest challenges for a designer in the current context - how to re-use the excessive amounts of polysters which exist in the UK, as over 50% of the world's fibre production is petroleum based.

Becky's Top 100 work has also been made into a 'digital book' which is currently showing alongside the pieces in Birmingham, and the book will be available online shortly.


TED's MA workshops

The new MA Textile group has started here at Chelsea and they have already been introduced to some aspects of TED's work. Several TED members have been running workshops with the students including Kate Goldsworthy who presented a talk on ‘Borrowing Materials, Technology and Time’ and then ran a workshop.
Another workshop was led by Hayley Newman, Fine Art Research Fellow who is taking her three-woman performance piece 'Cafe Carbon and the Gluts' to the Copenhagen Climate Change events in December. The MA students were asked to come up with some upcycled outfits for the performers.

Gucci Group fund new sustainable fashion PhD

The Textile Futures Research Group (TFRG), which TED is part of along with researchers and academics from London College of Fashion and Central St Martins, have announced that the Gucci Group are to sponsor a new three-year fully funded PhD studentship in ‘Sustainable Technology for Future Luxury'.

There will be a seminar to introduce the studentship, for MA students, on Friday 27th November, 16.00-18.00, at the Innovation Centre, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. There will be some talks from academics including Rebecca Earley from TED who will talk on recycling polyester and Carole Collett from CSM will discuss biomimicry.

For more information on the seminar email Itamar Ferrer at tfrg@tfrg.org.uk

For more information in the studentship go to the TFRG website.


Craft and Slow exhibition opens with TED member work

What would a Slow fashion collection look like? Instead of the fast paced fast-fashion cycle of a new collection every three weeks, how can designers work against this system? Becky Earley has been working on a ten year fashion collection called Top 100, and the collection is now on show at the exhibition Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution at Birmingham City Gallery.
The work also features in a podcast interview of Carl Honore, the author of the seminal book In Praise of Slow, who is reflecting on the exhibition and the theme of Slow and Craft.


TED Postcard from India

Clara Vuletich writes: I have been in India for a week now, working with TED colleague Lorna Bircham. We have come to Gujurat to spend a few days at a block print company which has been founded by an Indian textile designer who, in collaboration with her product designer husband, has created a sustainable print factory. Even though they use synthetic dyes (and they have some interesting arguments against natural dyes), all the waste water from the print and dye processes is sent through a water filtration system and re-used. 

The skill and craftsmanship of the wood block carvers and printers here is astonishing. The skills have been handed down through their families for generations. 

We are going to be working with this company on a project to create a series of textile designs which combine traditional block-printing with the latest digital print technology. The project is part of Creative Connexions, which aims to promote the benefits of using the UK's design talent in India and China.

More on this project will follow on the blog.