Nina's Textile Trail 2

– Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles

MMT Part 2 Joining & Wrapping Stage 1 Project 1 Joining Exercises 1-4

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(Paper Learning Log Pages 9-12)

Exercise 1 Joining straight flush edges

Starting with some paper and milk container plastic, staples and wire, small samples were produced.


On the right, 160gsm card joined with staples which created a sturdy, straight, flush join with very little movement and no hinge effect.  The blue-grey wash on the paper combined with the metal of the staples is quite appealing.

In the middle, milk container plastic joined with staples creating as similarly sturdy, straight flush join with little movement and no hinge effect.  There is no affinity of materials, a functional but dull sample.

On the left, less successful, milk container plastic with pierced holes, joined with five individual pieces of fine decorative, crinkly, floristry wire.  Less sturdy, quite a bit of movement.  Decorative wire too light for plastic, not visually pleasing and looks flimsy.

Experimenting with staples in a more decorative way:

Enjoyable exercise combining dyed paper with staples as a decorative mark, a pivot, an attractive, versatile tool.


On the right, using the same decorative wire as the last sample, investigating whether it would be stronger if laced using one length and crossed in the process – it is.  There is some, but less movement, than the individual joins.  It is still too flimsy and not particularly appealing.

On the left, to establish if a smoother, stronger wire would be be more stable.  It is and has created a good strong sturdy join.  The translucency of plastic allows the whole of the lacing to be seen but the materials don’t complement each other.

Continuing to explore joining straight flush edges, the top sample below surprised me with the efficiency of  the three self-adhesive dots creating such a flush, neat, tight join.


In search of a good one way hinge, masking tape was used with kraft paper below


A single piece of tape made a very effective one way hinge with a sturdy neat join.  Using three pieces of tape made the hinge a little more flexible than the first sample, but both create a secure join for flush edges.  The neutral colour palette help the materials to complement each other but otherwise visually unremarkable.

Giving more consideration to the visual interest of the materials, two pieces of jute were joined with a strip of wool blanket and a hand held needle felting tool which created a very effective join.


The single piece of blanket on the jute tarpaulin, top sample, has created an inflexible hinge.  The second sample using three pieces of blanket is more flexible but the tape is a much better choice of material for a flexible hinge. The combination of jute and wool offers textural interest and the neutral palette works well.

Exercise 4 Overlapping Edges

Encouraged by the effectiveness of the felting tool, an effective, invisible, overlapped edged join was created with hessian and blanket.


Exercise 2 – Joining straight edges with a gap

For a different effect, cotton scrim was used as the joining material, continuing with the hand held felting tool.

The joins were successful and there is an interesting contrast between the delicacy of the uneven weaved dyed scrim with the more even weave of the hessian.  The top left sample, seen from the reverse is my favourite with the straight edge of the heavier fabric a sharper contrast with the scrim and the tiny aubergine loops wriggling through the jute weave adding to the interest.  Recording elements of the samples with a variety of media which really helped to see the detail.


Before moving on, a quick experiment joining silk, using linen, and jute scrim, all of which worked well with the hand held tool.  The reverse side of the tarpaulin jute and natural linen offers an interesting contrast between the two fabrics and the soft ‘fluffy’ haze of linen fibres coming through from the needle punching on the other side.

I particularly like bottom sample above with the energy created by the the flowing lines of the jute scrim and how invisibly it can be ‘felted’ to the tarpaulin hessian. Using a fineliner pen, photo copier, graphite, tea and drawing ink to draw and examine the samples.




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