Some good news to share with you! During the lockdown period we were presented with the opportunity to spread some positivity and sponsor one of our freelance embroiderers with their graduate collection. Like many people when Covid lockdown began, Jessica Strain was stopped in her tracks from following through with her many months of planning when it came to producing her BA textiles Textiles graduate collection.
As a former intern of ours, she approached us to see if we could help with access to the machinery she could no longer use in the workrooms at uni. And so our sponsorship of Jessica’s collection began, making the small missing step in her production chain by realising her designs onto the final pieces. It was also wonderful for us to see her utilise some of the hand embroidery skills she learned during her time with us and weave them into her collection; such as tambour beading and limerick lace.
That collection, ‘Nature Reclaiming Spaces’ is now out as she has finished her course and the results are just beautiful. Have a read of the press release below for a flavour of the themes she explores through her textile collection. However, the images, as I’m sure you will agree, speak for themselves.
Jessica Strain has created an embroidery collection exploring how mother nature infiltrates all things man-made, whether that’s rust on a metal post or weeds growing through cracks of buildings, beauty can be found in the ordinary.
Combining traditional embroidery techniques with contemporary machine-led processes is at the heart of Jessica’s practice. Jessica began her collection by taking a roll of manually double-exposed film photographs on a 35mm camera. To develop her love of hand-led processes, it was only natural for Jessica to employ embroidery techniques such as tambour beading, limerick lace and shuttle tatting (a form of lacemaking) within the collection.
Sustainability is integral to Jessica’s design process; embroidery techniques lend themselves well to sustainable textiles as they are hard wearing and designed to last. Natural dyeing made up the majority of colour within Jessica’s collection; dyeing organic fabrics with onion skins, nettles and an indigo vat from home during the COVID lockdown. Jessica hand-dyed her digitally embroidered kimono in an indigo vat, each piece requiring 15 X 2-minute dips with additional rinsing between dips. Constituting of 13 pattern pieces, it’s evident how devoted Jessica is to her practice.
Once the textiles side of her collection was complete, she brought the project around to its fruition, moulding them into these stunning garments.
Finishing off by taking those garments back into their natural habitat with this look book photoshoot, we are delighted that Jessica’s collection has come together so well and know that this is only the first step in wonderful things to come for this textiles designer.