Form from flat : Exploring emergent behaviour in woven textiles

University essay from Högskolan i Borås/Akademin för textil, teknik och ekonomi

Abstract: The character of woven textiles is dependent on both the materials and the loom technology used. While digitally-controlled jacquard looms are a major development in weaving technology, they have mostly been used in developing representational and pictorial weaving. Such three-dimensional weaving as exists, utilises materials in predictably similar ways. Here, through systematic experimentation, three shrinking and two resisting yarns have been combined in multi-layer weaves in order to explore their potential for form-generating behaviour. Three-dimensional form occurs when the shrinking yarn/s place the resisting yarn/s under tension. To relieve this tension, the resisting yarn moves within the weave, creating waves or folds. The resulting form is highly sensitive to variation, demonstrating emergent behaviour, and identifying the woven textile as a complex system. Demonstrating the variety of form possible from a limited number of materials, the results represent a small body of work aiming to re-form weaving. The exploration of synergistic material combinations is therefore shown to be an exercise of value to fields from art textiles through to industry. It demonstrates that there is great development potential in woven textiles. Understanding the behaviour of materials is fundamental to furthering form-based weaving.

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