June inspiration!

Inspiring textiles

The scope of textile design is awesomely endless!

Adding to my inspiration board this month will be a visit to the V&A Balenciaga Exhibition – Shaping Fashion

To my dyeing day No.2!!

Two metres of wide fabric is a lot to dye!!

  1. The first piece is very deep pink – all over liquid procion dye applied with a wide brush. I left the fabric covered with plastic sheet over night to get a really saturated colour.
  2. Shibori dyed with liquid indigo coloured procion dye. Cured 22 hours

3.  Brush painting in strong pink, orange, yellow and green and black procion dye paste. Cured 20 hours

I poured the black dye paste into a silk paint bottle with a fine nib and drew the black outlines of pattern onto the fabric and then added the other colours with a brush. It was very random and I just had to keep going not really knowing what the outcome would be. The main problem I had was to get the black dye paste to flow evenly from the paint bottle. The nib was a little to narrow and I think un-mixed dye particles clogged it easily – a lesson for next time.

The finished design is really experimental and unpolished but I will persevere!

Here are the finished fabrics ready to be made into jackets this week – with some extra embellishment:

To my dyeing day No. 1!

Actually two dyeing days as I spent the first day experimenting with dye colours and techniques on small samples of white cotton fabric that had been pre-soaked in a solution of soda ash for 3 hours.

I am very lucky to have a great assistant for a few days – Carmen is a fashion photography student who is doing 20 hours work experience with me and her work is included in the following sample images.

Techniques:

  • Lino printing – with a thickened procion dye paste
  • Brush painting with both liquid procion dye and paste
  • Combining the two techniques

 

Dye samples covered with clingfilm to prevent drying and left to cure over night – 18 hours

 

The results are interesting as I have never used dyes like this before and, although the samples are rather rough and ready, there is potential. The lino print is not as good as I hoped – some lines are indistinct as it is difficult to apply the dye paste evenly. I find using a brush is the best method as it gives me better control over the dye placement than with a roller.

So tomorrow I will jump in to this wonderful world of colour and dye 6 meters of beautiful Ottoman Rib Viscose/cotton fabric to make three colourful fabrics for jackets:

  1. Plain colour – a strong pink mixing a little scarlet not magenta dye powder
  2. Shibori tie dye with indigo procion dye
  3. Brush designs in three – four colours with Ikat patterns in mind.

References

Shibori

Dye painting

Ikat

Ottoman 15th C -17th C woman’s costume

Women’s everyday wear did not change greatly during this time and comprised of:

Underclothes

Salvar (trousers) that were very baggy at the waist tapering to the ankles. The salvar were often coloured though did not usually match the rest of the outfit.

Gomlek (a chemise) that was mid-calf length and made from a transparent diaphanous fabric usually depicted in white.

The Hirka or fitted jacket was worn over the gomlek and might be  sleeveless or have long tight sleeves or wide short sleeves. I suggest this was dependent on the weather! The jacket was buttoned to the waist. A sash or belt was tied at to just below the waist or on the hips.

The entari was worn over the hirka as a more formal dress. This garment was of a similar cut to the hirka but longer to the floor. Both the hirka and the entari were buttoned to the waist leaving the skirts to flare out. The top buttons were often left open to the underside of the bust allowing the entari to gape open. A sash or belt was worn about the hips.

Ferace – indoor clothing was highly coloured and very eye-catching however when a woman went outside she would cover herself modestly with a ferace. This was a simple overcoat in a dark sombre colour, buttoned to the throat. She would also cover her face with a yashmak.

 

There is mention of another garment – the yelek – a jacket worn over the entari, often lined with fur.

 

 

19th century Ottoman entari

This beautiful Ottoman entari is in the archives of the Clothworkers Centre, London and I had the chance to examine it closely and to make notes about its size and construction.

The main fabric appears to be of cotton with stripes of soft yellow motifs and darker black floral motifs woven into the fabric on a cream background, further embellished with hand embroidered chain stitch flower and leaf motifs in several shades of green, blue, soft brown and pink/red.

 

The lining is a deep blue fabric with a woven floral pattern

Scalloped edges are embellished with a gold coloured braiding

Garment measurements:

The sleeves are over long and shaped beautifully towards the cuff

Neck line detail – a scalloped edge and no buttons or evidence of closure

Finishing – to finish the edges of the entari I could see that the top striped fabric was hemmed at the edges – turned in together with the blue lining and hand stitched. The braiding was then stitched along the edges of the top fabric. I could not see any facings or interlinings.

 

Braiding is attached to the top striped fabric along the scalloped edge:

The Clothworkers Centre, London

 

 

Ottoman kaftan construction – linings

The Clothworkers Centre in London have several Ottoman kaftans in its archive and I have visited the centre to examine some of their examples. I was interested to see how the kaftans were cut and details of the stitching.

The archive kaftan pieces are typical of work made in the Ottoman court workshops during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Fabric weave were a Lampas  (4:1 satin and 1/3 twill). Fabrics were sumptuously made with silk warps and wefts and included metallic yarn as a brocaded weft. They were woven on looms producing a width of between 66cm and 68.5cm and, because of this width restriction, only the smallest of kaftans could be cut completely within the width – larger body sizes required fabric inserts.

 

Star design child’s kaftan

The main colours were white/cream and red with some blues and  yellow. Green was seldom used as there were no natural green dyes and the colour had to be made by over dying yellow with blue. The metallic yarns were made by loosely wrapping yellow and white yarns with silver strips – the white yarn enhancing the silver and the yellow coming through the silver creating a gold colour.

This “star” design kaftan illustrates how a small kaftan could be cut from one width of fabric with a separate gore added on the right side to complete the shape. Pattern pieces were cut to fit the fabric with as little wastage as possible.

Linings and stitching

This image shows the back/lining details of the Star kaftan. Bias cut facings (12cm wide) of red/orange silk are stitched around the openings – sleeves, neck,front, and hems. Facings are found in blue, red, orange and rose colours and sometimes match the main colour of the kaftan. The facings are attached to the kaftan by  single seam.

Floral design kaftan

The lining, if any, was inserted under the facing and the free edge of the facing was turned under once and stitched into place:

 

 

These kaftan had a long narrow pocket on the right hand side, between 6-9.5cm wide and 25-32cm long, and were attached to an opening on the side seam. Pockets were made from the same loosely woven fabric as the linings.

 

V&A 16th & 17th C Ottoman children’s kaftans

http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O85101/kaftan/

16th C Ottoman children’s kaftans V&A museum

The V&A  collection of children’s kaftans were worn by Ottoman princes who died in childhood. These luxurious kaftans were placed over the graves of the deceased children and preserved in the imperial tombs. In 1595 the nineteen younger sons of Sultan Murat III were executed on the orders of their half-brother Mehmet III on his succession. The killing of younger heirs of the sultanate evolved to prevent any struggling for succession (interesting that this is also practiced by male lions that kill the cubs when taking over a pride). This cruel practice was never repeated after 1595.

Weave and fabric construction

‘Lampas’ weave – 4:1 satin with a 1/3 twill. Silk warp and weft with a third element – a metallic silver wrapped white or yellow silk weft brocade. Loosely silver wrapped white silk yarns allows the white to show through the silver highlighting the metal – yellow yarn peeking through the sliver lends a gold hue to the resulting brocade. Fabric width: 66cm – 68.5cm

Yarn colours

Predominantly white and red with touches of blue and yellow. Green was rarely used as there were no natural green dyes – green was produced by over dyeing yellow yarn with a blue dye. Red is used for the warp but never the weft – why?

Textile patterns

  • Cintamani & Tiger stripes – Turkic, Central Asian origin.15thC
  • Stars & Crescents –  Designs from Constantinople. 15th century

  • Florals: Pomegranate – single and sprays of, Ogival lattice, floral lattices, blossoms, pine cones, medallions – 16th century.
  • Undulating parallel lines – 17th century
  • Geometric design were still used in the 16th and 17th centuries

Pattern drawing for the children’s kaftan

Kaftan pattern pieces V&A clothworkers centre, London

Reference

PDF: Wearden J. The Royal Garments, fabric, design, tailoring.Ottoman kaftans from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London