Sunday, 17 March 2019

Fabric folding fun

I’d been rearranging  my sewing materials when came across some gorgeous cream coloured silk dupion fabric. Maybe it’s because I’d been watching ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ that I felt a compulsion to craft some jewellery out of fabric. I have a selection of ‘Lumiere’ fabric paints and I figured that they would work well to colour the silk. To stop the colour running too much and to help the fabric to stiffen and fold crisply, I gave it a coat of ‘Powertex’ medium.


This is my first experience of using Powertex, it’s made specifically for sculptures, mixed media and jewellery and I like the fact that it’s environmentally friendly. The first thing I noticed was that it has a very pleasant smell and the bottle is sturdy and very well designed. Once applied to the silk it dried quickly to a stiff finish that provides a perfect base for the Lumiere paints. I’ve been looking at Elizabethan costume designs on the internet recently – they were expert at cutting, pleating and layering fabrics, as shown in the beautiful doublet below.


Did you know that the Elizabethans used crushed bluebell bulbs to starch their clothes and ruffs? Thankfully the bluebells in the local woods are safe as my Powertex worked a treat, and after a brief spell in the lovely vintage flower press I picked up on Ebay last week my leaf earrings were ready to have the beads added.


I’m pretty satisfied with these first two prototype pairs of earrings – silk is incredibly tough, (think of parachutes) especially when painted with mediums and textile paints. These pretties would certainly stand up to the rigours of everyday wear. I’m already thinking of other exciting possibilities for this technique, for example in combination with Soutache or bead embroidery.

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