The Architecture of Threads

University essay from Konstfack/Textil

Abstract: Most people might not reflect upon textiles as anything more than the soft material in our clothes. As a crafts practitioner, I gain knowledge of woven materials that go beyond that. The knowledge of weaving and materials is developing the ideas that form the concept of this project. From the tacit knowledge, derived from years of practically working with textile materials, an intellectual understanding of materials and the worlds they construct is growing. In this project, I decipher my own ideas of the woven structure in order to invite others to experience the universe within textiles. I look at the weave as a structure, built up by small particles in forms of threads. If seeing the weave from a distance, each repeated pattern can in turn be perceived as the smallest element. By seeing woven materials from more than one perspective, I believe that the understanding of the construction itself can develop. As this understanding grows, so does the ability to judge the quality of the material. In this line of thought, the tools used to reflect upon what materials are, how they are made and what they signify, becomes greater. To visualise the knowledge I have of the textile structures I make, I work with a waffle weave structure, together with a dyeing technique called Ikat. I also draw connections between the woven structure and that of a map – as a tool that humans use to understand their surroundings. The use of perspectives and scale is another tool that is used to widen our perception of the world around us. In order to create an experience of the universe within textiles and to invite others into that world, I draw parallels between the miniature scale of the woven material and larger, architectural structures. The final outcome of this project is a textile installation, consisting of three weavings that together form a larger construction. The construction is open for people to enter and experience. Inside the construction a smaller woven piece is presented as a map over the woven world. This weaving initially contains the same information as the large structure, but on a much smaller scale.

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