During a recent visit to Singapore, one of the team at Hawthorne & Heaney took a sight detour off the tourist trail and visited one of the Peranakan Embroidery heritage boutiques in the suburbs. This small street houses a couple of shops in which they are keeping the more traditional embroidery techniques of the region alive. One such place is called Rumah Bebe which is lovely in itself as it is covered in patterned tiles and gilded woodwork. They house a wide range of Nyonya garments such as sarongs, embroidered jackets and beaded shoes. As is fitting to the work that has gone into them, the pieces are quite pricey, but well worth it for how lovely they are.
Kim Choo Kueh Chang is also next door where you can sample traditional Nyonya cakes from the cafe downstairs made with coconut, condensed milk and pandan leaves which gives them a bright green colour. They have a little shop of trinkets but upstairs is where you will find the best bits as they have a range of embroidered pieces which line the walls and a variety of vintage items on diplay in their exhibition. They explain a little of how the embroidery is intergral to the wedding services of the culture with the examples around for context.
A personal favourite had to be this part completed design, still on the frame which demonstrates a little of the technique that is used to create these pieces and the scale of the beads that form the designs.
To see more of what they have to offer, visit their websites above or watch the video below for a glimpse of the action.
For the past 3 years, London Craft Week has become a highlight of the creative calender with all sorts of exciting workshops, demonstrations and talks taking place across town. These celebrate the most unique and interesting craft skills London has to offer. Ranging from whisky tasting to watchmaking to weaving there is something to interest everyone. This year, we have been invited to take part in London Craft Week and are excited to be hosting two workshops in the studio to showcase our own skills. In these workshops we will be teaching one of our stable skills, monogramming which we regulally use on shirts, suits and accessories from our tailoring clients.
You can join us to learn the delicate art of monogramming and leave with your own monogrammed handkerchief or cufflinks at the end. Follow the link to secure your place as spaces are strictly limited, tickets are £60 plus VAT and can only be bought directly from the London Craft Week Website.
This year we were lucky enough to work with a very promising CSM MA student called Andrew Totah. We produced a series of embroideries for him which feature in his final collection which are so vibrant and exciting, we couldn’t wait to share them with you.
Andrew Totah’s collection is based on his travels through South Africa and features a wonderfully vibrant colour palette which reflects the culture. Andrew’s collection is very much about telling a story through his designs so his girls are superheroes of a kind who modify their clothes and empower themselves by take back control of their city in the night.
We produced a series of heavily machine embroidered patches to compliment his collection, all of which were his own graphic designs. Most of the embroideries are raised from the surface of the fabric, that combined with the punchiness of the colours makes a strong impression.
To see more about the collection and the inspiration behind the designs, as well as the embroidery on the garments shown in the show at the end then have a watch of the video below.
Lica Tang‘s work is a clever combination of organic inspiration and digital media coming together to create an original and modern aesthetic. During her time studying an MA in textile design at Chelsea College of Art and Design, Tang produced a collection inspired by “Animals and Nature” but by using digital media and CAD production techniques, subverts this seemingly ordinary beginning point into a striking and visually subverted mini collection as the showpiece of her degree.
A few weeks ago we had a wonderful time developing this gorgeous velvet collar design for the lovely Pip Howeson.
We designed a flowing motif of a traditional oak leaf flourish to fit with the aesthetic of the jacket. Then, using machine embroidery, we were able to create three levels of texture to the piece using padding to give the leaves height and acorns height, then using the running stitch for detail. The pieces then when cut to the pattern piece create a symmetrical curve around the collar of the neck meeting at the nape.
Working on the velvet, it can be tricky not to mark the pile in the process of embroidering it but we were so pleased to see that it sat so well with the other pieces of the jacket when made up.