Category: Fashion & Textiles travelogue

In South Africa

Simon Clarke is a Senior Lecturer in Printed Textiles

I was recently back in South Africa after ten years away, with a unique opportunity to extend my research into dress and textiles beyond East Africa and Madagascar. I used to live and work in Kenya so this is where my interest developed – it resulted in a PhD.

picture1bOn the Street, Maboneng – A thriving fashion and vintage scene in the city. Continue reading

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Images of Japan

Sarah E. Braddock Clarke is an Author, a Curator and Senior Lecturer for Fashion Design & Sportswear Design at the Fashion and Textiles Institute

Fascinated by Japanese art, design, thinking, and culture for many years, a recent research visit led me to Yokohama – just south of Tokyo in Tokyo Bay –  and also to Tokyo itself.

Here are some of the visuals I came across on my daily meetings and work with many Japanese professionals – from Japanese professors to designers at NUNO Corporation and the fantastically eccentric team at Liberty Japan.

I walked in between my meetings and got to know the different districts and took some photographs along the way. What is apparent from these few images is the two sides that co-exist in Japan’s main cities:

  • the traditional and the technological
  • the spiritual and the materialistic
  • the ancient and the futuristic

Here are some of my observations:

picture1A glimpse of Chinatown, Yokohama – apparently the largest chinatown in Japan Continue reading

Learning to weave a kilim in Turkey

Wendy Kotenko is Senior Technician for Weave

I have worked as the weave technician at Falmouth University for ten years where I enjoy practising and sharing traditional skills of weaving and dyeing.

I love to travel and experience different cultures and their textile techniques and recently went to Turkey with an interesting company who make this possible. www.caravanturkey.com

The following pictures of my trip show how I learnt kilim weaving with local crafts people. I asked to make a kilim rather than a carpet piece so you could do that as well. You can learn cooking too, and other things – even belly dancing!

You can choose what you want to learn or combine a couple of things or just go for a day’s workshop if you don’t want to stay at the place. The village is called Gokpinar. The place you stay is in a lovely area in a mountainous part of the country, but not far from the coast  (Bodrum is the closest tourist town) away from the tourist places. I think the villages used by this company are preserved specially to show the traditional culture, so they can show tourists traditional life. Nomadic people have settled there and are mainly farmers.

picture1Preparing the wool warp for weaving Continue reading

Three Lands – Three Laces

Irene Griffin is the Senior Technical Instructor for Mixed Media and Natural Dyes. 

In today’s world of mass-produced ‘fast’ fabrics it seems really important to keep connected to historic and traditional textile processes.  To me they are as indicative of a nation’s creative identity as their language, food and architecture. In the last couple of years my knowledge of textiles from other countries has increased, as I’ve been lucky enough to do a bit of travelling.  During my visits I’ve actively sought the cloth, embroidery and anything textile related that represents each place and been pleasantly surprised most times. From iconic Icelandic jumpers in Reykjavik to the florid bejewelled evening gowns I saw in Palermo – one thing became clear – each nation has its own version of ‘ornament’ – a pattern language that speaks through fibre and craft.

One common ‘thread’ I found on my travels was lace. Decorative, time-consuming and costly when hand-made, over time machinery has found a way to replicate the dainty intricacies of this famously feminine fabric trim.

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Behind the scenes of a trade fair, Falmouth in Paris.

Hannah Maughan is a Senior Lecturer on BA(Hons) Textile Design.

This September my colleague Simon Clarke and I took a group of 3rd year Textile Design students over to Paris on a 4-day Study Trip. The main purpose of the trip is to visit Premiere Vision, (PV), the international fashion and textiles trade fair which showcases the very latest in fabric, design and colour, and which brings together a vast network of professionals working throughout the industry.

Students get to experience this part of the industry first-hand, gaining a better understanding of how fashion fabrics are designed, manufactured, sourced and supplied within a professional context. The show is vast and inspiring, with thousands of exhibitors and clients visiting daily, but in amongst the crowds we bumped into some familiar Falmouth faces and took the opportunity to catch up with our graduates and their careers. Continue reading