• Fabrica-tactilis, skilful production, structure - Fabric that may be touched, tangible

      Wells, Kate; Poundall, Robyn; University of Derby; David Nieper Ltd. (26/11/2014)
      Over the last 15 years, many of the tactile and haptic qualities of printed textiles have been abandoned for what is considered a fast and smooth digital solution through the increased popularity in using digital media as a the main source for design inspiration, conception and manufacture. Much of the creativity and qualities produced by hand processes and non digital techniques that in past produced tactile surfaces within a material via the creation of different densities or composite multiple layered structures, have in many cases been replaced with optical digital illusions of texture with the actual tactility of the material being lost or compromised. This paper outlines current collaborative design research that explores the uniting of haptic processes within cross-disciplinary fields of textiles, ceramics and glass. The results are the creation of a variety of materials both soft and hard. 3D-Soft is the result of natural and man-made manipulated fabrics that exhibit three-dimensional textured, puckered, distorted and translucent/transparent effects. That with further cross-disciplinary experimentation, the tactile textural qualities of fabric are transposed into hard surfaces: 3D-Hard, through different stiffening, ceramic and glass processes. The main aim of the research being the creation of unique exciting materials ‘Fabrica-Tactilis’ that develop and unite haptic skills with touch, exploring contradiction and harmony by embracing both traditional and non-traditional textile processes and alternative craft techniques for example ceramics and glass within their manufacture.
    • Itajime gasuri: digital warps

      Wells, Kate; University of Derby (World Shibori Network, 31/10/2014)
      Itajime gasuri is a Japanese resist technique, which today is almost extinct but was originally employed to patterned warp yarns by clamping them between two boards engraved in high relief. When the clamped bundle was then immersed in a dye-bath, the dye was unable to penetrate into the areas under pressure and the resulting dyed and finally woven cloth produced an ikat like pattern. A process invented by Tomoshicihi Miura in 1837 to copy and increase production of the labor intensive textile dyeing technique ikat was re-discovered by the highly skilled Craftsman and Japanese weaver Norio Koyama, who in 1996 when visited in Japan was the only remaining craftsperson to still employ on a commercial level, the traditional process of itajime gasuri: the utilization of identically carved wooden boards to resist pattern fabrics. As a silk weaver, Norio Koyama, became interested in the process of itajime gasuri having purchased the last remaining full set of traditional clamping boards. Teaching himself the intricate and precise processes involved with the technique and required to produce lengths of fabric with patterns similar to double 'ikat'. A present of eight old boards to the author enabled the technique to spread to Europe and has enabled further research to be carried out into the processes involved and along side advancements in digital technology provided an opportunity to reinvent the process by employing old or newly digitally machined boards to produce modern versions of such textiles, which when combined with digital technology in the form of image manipulation and digital printing both onto prepared fabric bases and warps prior to weaving has enabled the process to reinvent itself and design qualities achieved with such a technique evolve into a patterning method for the 21st Century. The excitement occurs when a process invented by Tomoshicihi Miura in 1837 to copy and increase textile production of the resist dyeing technique ikat can be once again employed to create textile designs if new Itajime gasuri boards are created with digital manufacturing techniques and digital scanning along side digital printed will once woven produce an ikat effect: A complete cycle of creativity and innovation being achieved.
    • The revival of the ancient technique of printing with mordants and dyeing in bi-colourants to achieve contemporary poly-chromic designs

      Wells, Kate; Churn, Kate; University of Derby (NOVA University of Lisbon Campus Caparica / Caparica Portugal, 25/10/2018)
      This paper explores the creation of a range of sustainable patterned fabrics by employing various Bio-colorants (natural dyes) in combination with a range of mordants that have a lesser impact upon the environment to create a poly-chromatic design within single dyeing process. Practice based research was undertaken into dyeing and printing with Madder, Logwood, Weld and Woad or Indigo in combination with a selection of mordants Alum, Copper Acetate, Iron Acetate and Tannins onto a range of fabric bases which includes the new regenerated fibres alongside traditional natural ones as a sustainable option (1, 2). Mordants that have been used from ancient times produce a pattern during the dyeing process. By looking at these historical (3, 4) and traditional applications (5) from across the globe, it was hoped that a more sustainable method of patterning either through printed (screen and block), stencilled or hand-painted techniques could be designed. According to Robinson (6): Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79), writing of the ancient Egyptians, stated that, ‘Garments are painted in Egypt in a wonderful manner, the white clothes being first coated, not with colours but with drugs which absorb the colours. Although the dyeing liquid is one colour, the garment is dyed several colours according to the different properties of the drugs which have been applied to the different parts: nor can this be washed out’ It is thought that this passage was describing madder dye alongside as the various mordants – alum, iron salts and copper salts as they were known at that time (7). Since this ancient time, the application of natural dyes evolved over the centuries into an advanced form of dyeing as this was only form of permanently colouring fabrics until the advent of synthetic dyes by Perkins in 1856. The ‘Art of Dyeing’ became a highly secretive and protected practice with the formation of Dyers Guilds from the 14th c. The technique of the application of different mordants to create more than one colour evolved within the Far East employed initially to produce the ‘Indienne mania’ (Chintz) madder dyed calicos of the 17th c. and 18th c. and later with the development of ‘Turkey Red’ prints, the secrete of which remained undisclosed until the late 18th c. (7). (1) Garcia. 2012, Natural Dye Workshop: Colors Of Provence Using Sustainable Methods, London: Studio Galli. (2) Dean, J, & Casselman, K. 1999, Wild Colour, London: Mitchell Beazley. (3) Bird. 1875. The Dyers Handbook. USA. (4) Hummel, J.J. 1885. The Dyeing of Textile Fabrics. London: Cassell & Company Ltd (5) Bilgrami, N. 1990. Singh jo Ajrak. Pakistan: Department of Culture and Tourism Government of Sindh. (6) Robinson, S. 1969. A History of Dyed Textiles, London: W & J Makckay & Co Ltd. (7) Chenciner, R. 2001. Madder Red: A History of Luxury and Trade. Richmond: Cuzon Press. (8) Storey, J. 1992 The Thames and Hudson Manual of Textile Printing. London: Thames and Hudson.
    • Solar patterning: The employment of fast and fugitive colorants via Anthotype, Cyanotype and other photographic techniques.

      Wells, Kate; Greger, Ness; University of Derby (Progress in Colour Studies (PICS), 2016-09)
      This paper discusses on-going research into natural dyes, mineral dyes (Lake pigments or raised colours) and leuco-vat dyes (Inko and SolarFast) with the potential to create a sustainable method of patterning fabric that employs the light sensitivity and fastness properties (fast or fugitive) of the colorants in creating a permanent (photographic) image in colour upon natural or re-generated fibre base.
    • Sustainable solar surface decoration: the correlation between Anthotype principles with plant extractions as a form of eco-patterning for fabrics

      Wells, Kate; Greger, Ness; University of Derby (The Textile Institute, 25/04/2016)
      This paper discusses design research undertaken into the correlation between natural dyes (plant extractions) and the alternative photographic process of Anthotypes discovered in the early 19th Century. The paper explores the relationship between natural extracts (dyes) with their fastness properties in relation to the success of this photographic process and the potential this form of imaging has as a sustainable/health giving form of surface decoration for textiles: A form of Eco-patterning that relies upon light and natural substances/dyes not synthetic dyes as the colouring medium. Instigated by the output of collaborative research between two different disciplines: That of textile design and early colouration methods with historical photographic imaging techniques. The research project considered the symbiotic relationship between natural plant extracts with the success of Anthotypes. The aim of which was to consider the question: Could this kind of photographic image making be applied as a future, sustainable method of design generation, colouration and patterning of fabric for fashion and interiors? The objective was in creating an alternative sustainable surface design process that relies upon light and natural substances/dyes not chemical dyestuffs and pigments as the main patterning and processing medium. The outcomes of which could also provide medicinal healing qualities by wearing clothing or sleeping on material that has been coloured with natural plant extracts (dyes), an added health bonus.