Embroidery repairs is a topic we keep coming back to but we thought we would share another project with you where embroidery was used to breath new life into a damaged garment.
It is so pleasing when we are able to use a method that is usually about decoration only but also allow an item that would have otherwise have lost its use, to be beautiful and useful again.
Damaged area before embroidery
This jacket was made of a very rough grain tweed which through rubbing and wear had got damaged and started to ray over a large area of about 15 cm. The embroidery that was designed for the area was inspired by the Japanese practise of Kintsukuroi (golden repair) where broken pottery is fixed using gold laquer. It ties in with the philosophy of wabi-sabi, embracing of the flawed or imperfect which felt appropriate for this project given that we knew that the damage would still be to come extent visible but making the repair in an asthetically pleasing way makes the object becomes more beautiful for having been broken and fixed.
We used 4 shades of blue to reflect the different thread colours in the weave which are all in satin stitch to help to hold the damaged area together. Then there is a layer of gold metallic thread added over raisings to give it that laquered effect that is so significant to this technique and ties in with the metal details of the jacket. After the embroidery there were still a few threads to pulled through to tidy as can be seen and to reattach the hem, but we were very please with the end result.
We like to keep our interests broad here at Hawthorne & Heaney so The British Museum’s current exhibition, Scythians: Warriors of ancient Siberia, looked appealing to us. On from the 14th September 2017 to the 14th January 2018 it looks at the nomadic tribes who flourished between 800 and 200 BC, displaying various examples of their gold jewellery, clothing, weapons and living equipment.
The exhibition is spread across 4 large rooms, with carefully illustrated videos and child friendly sections of signage. Whilst walking round there is a subtle soundtrack of wind blowing playing in all the room to really add effect the the visuals you see.
It starts off with a little introduction about the Scythians, which was a collective name for different tribes that spoke Iranian, and shared a similar lifestyle and dress. Little has been previously known about these people who controlled a vast region of northern China all the way to the Black sea, as they had no written language, but since burial sites have been found and the permafrost preserved most objects scientist and historians have started to piece together a look into their life.
They were sophisticated crafts people and fearsome warriors who lived in tents and herded sheep, tradition was a focal point around whatever they did, as they used to bury the dead with all they needed for the afterlife. They had a strong bond with their own horses and often they were buried along with the owners as they believed the bond carried through to the afterlife.
The jewellry on display was stunning gold that was usually either hammered and polished by hand or cast using a technique using cloth and clay. Gold was associated with the sun and power and most of the scenes buckles and decorative horse saddles depicted were scenes of mythical animals killing ordinary animals, this was believed to symbolise concern over preservation of world order. The items are remarkably well preserved and some still contain their original turquoise or blue glass inlays.
Opposite these there is a bit of information about Tsar Peter the first, who sent exhibitions to southern Siberia and found the burial sites. After this he ordered anything gold found around there was to be sent to him,where he documented and recorded and stored all the items. Some of the watercolours used to document the items are also on display.
What I found most interesting was the clothing and textiles that were displayed. One of the burial sites that was found contained what they believed to be a Chief and his wife. The clothing was elaborately decorated with punched, gold crouching panther pieces and a lot of the fur that they wore, a variety of squirrel, leopard, and other animals, was dyed using traditional natural dyes such as indigo and cochineal. Other items of particular interest were the highly decorated shoes, head gear and the fake beards the men were buried with.
The beards were of particular speculation because scans and the preservation of the mummified bodies showed that they were often clean shaven and both men and women were heavily tattooed. Applique onto woolen items were heavily featured as well although these didn’t survived as well as others.
What tribes they couldn’t make and produce themselves they traded and stole from other tribes. The most highly prized item was Chinese patterned silk, some of these fragments have survived. The exhibition also touches on the weapons and armour that was used, the bond with their horses and the influences from other cultures such as the Greeks, and Persians. Eventually they were superseded by other nationalities and tribes as new traditions got introduced the old ones vanished and formed what we know as the mongol tribes and others.
Over all the exhibition is really informative and covers a wide variety of interests and is running till the 14th January 2018 at The British Museum.
Fashion week is here! We have had the absolute pleasure of working with the one the only Joshua Kane for his Spring Summer 2018 Collection ‘Fantasy’. It is always a delight to see our work come to life on the catwalk, and out there for the world to see!
A close up to show the 3D effect of the tailor,
We are loving the attention to detail, The Tailor on the shoes
On Friday night, Hawthorne & Heaney were a few of the audience members to watch the the fashion show of Joshua Kane’s A/W 2017 collection. Held at the London Palladium, it was a grand affair with 2250 people eagerly watching as Kane wanted to be able to share the experience with his fans as well as the high fashion crowd. Therefore, tickets were available for anyone to buy, attend and enjoy.
Entitled, ‘Journey’ the brand did not disappoint with an amazing set of intricate lattice work depicting a early 20th century tube station, newly built and creating a social microcosm of it’s own as the classes mingle. On this we were introduced to the narative with a couple of models interacting briefly before the main body of the show got started.
The shows itself was crisp, sharp and well polished as is only fitting for a Joshua Kane collection. Not only was this show unusual to be shared with the wider audience in this way, but was also Kane’s first show that was an equal split of mens and womenswear. The line up finished with the three looks which Hawthorne & Heaney produced embroidered pieces for, in the form of a horse head, with chess board, military and heraldic influences.
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As always it was lovely to be involved in an exciting project like this, particulally with such as beautiful outcome and was wonderful to see them on their debut in person. If you would like to seemore of the collection follow the link here. We are looking forward to what they produce for next season already!
Last year, we were approached by Manchester Council to help with a project they were working on to honour six Manchester-born heroes who were awarded the Victoria Cross for valour.
The ceremony was held in St Peters Square where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in attendance for the unveiling of the commemorative paving stone.
Each of the men were honoured with a stone, initially covered by red and gold embroidrered velvet with the Victoria Cross which we produced. These brave men were George Stringer, Albert Hill, Henry Kelly, John Readitt, John Thomas and Graham Lyall.
For his SS16 collection, we worked with Joshua Kane to create these lightening inspired detail to compliement the tailoring. We came across this great picture of Jack Guiness in one of the jackets with Ben Stiller, giving their best ‘blue steel’ looks and just had to share it with you!
Here you can see some of the detail of the goldwork that goes unto the collar. The embroidery stands up from the fabric as it has been raised and each piece of bullion is cut to measure and hand applied to create this lux effect.
And here the rest fo the jacket, I think you will agree, it is pretty special.
We were lucky enough to be asked to go on a tour of the new refurbished No. 1 Savile Row, Gieves and Hawkes Historical Archive so we thought we would take the opportunity to share the pictures of some of the treasures they have there. Their long history of 450 years has allowed them to accumulate this amazing collection of pieces. The building itself is also very striking as the former home of Lord Fairfax, the Duke of Devonshire and then the Royal Geographic Society. Part of their renovations was to bring the splendid Map room a the heart of the building, originally installed by the Royal Geographic Society, back to its former glory. It is through the impressive balcony in the Map room that the archive is accessed.
Above: detail from uniform jacket with its aiguillette, an ornamental braided cord.
A selection of uniforms on display at the entrance of the archive
Cuff details with Gold lace and belt on display
Inspecting some of the jackets from the archive, this one with original aiguillette.
Tiny Cut-work bird and crown emblem with gold lace
These cutwork cuffs would have been gold when they were new, but over time, they become discoloured and settle at the shade they are now.
Embroidered Epaulette, also discoloured by time with a glimpse of the attached aiguillette bottom left.