Sunday, August 13, 2023

Weekend Review: Layered Cloth


Layered Cloth / Ann Small
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK: Search Press, c2017.
144 p.

I've looked at various titles in this "The Textile Artist" series, and they are always very good at including instructions and lots of photos on whichever topic they're covering. This one was no exception; there are many large and clear images illustrating the technique she's sharing. It just depends if it's a technique that catches your interest! 

This book focuses on fabric manipulation, as clearly stated in the title. The first half of the book deals with straightforward layers of fabric, mostly what I'd know as chenille. She also layers by cutting shapes out of the top layers and folding them back -- both of these are illustrated on the cover. Unfortunately for me, I'm not really taken with the frayed and messy look of these styles. Lots of people love it, but I don't think it's something I'd do much of at all (although never say never!) 

The second half of the book has some different kinds of manipulations, not quite a simple layering. There is a section on a trapunto influenced technique - layering fabrics and then stuffing the main motifs from the back in trapunto, which is interesting, especially in the neoclassical images she's using, pillars and such. Then there's a bit on suffolk puffs, done in various sizes and not perfectly circular, some with centre stuffing added. This reminds me a bit of the puffs in Ruth Singer's book on fabric manipulations, and I do like this technique and idea quite a bit. And she also talks about twisting fabrics to create shapes. 

The section of this book which I found the most original was a technique that she created called "Book Stacks" (guess why I like this one!) It's a series of folded squares all sewn closely together to make long columns that are textured and bookish. Hard to explain the technique but the effect is great. 

There are also a couple of quick projects at the end using a few of the techniques - scarves, pins, stuff like that. I'd be more likely to use these ideas in an art piece than in wearables, but I can see other people with a different style who would like the projects. Overall, an interesting read with some new ideas, which is well laid out and comprehensive. Check it out if you can find a copy! 

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