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  • Katie Marie Gilbert

Below the Surface: Pre-final Collection

The past semester at University has seen me creating my 'pre-final' textile design collection, that I have called 'Below the Surface'. My final collection will be started, explored and finished in the upcoming semester and as a year group, all textile design students have been told to utilise the last semester as a practise for the next. That is not to say we can produce the same work, but thinking like this has given us the opportunity to figure out timescales and work out how much time creating each idea and fabric will take, so that we will be as efficient as we can when producing our final project. To give you an idea of what my project 'Below the Surface' is all about, here is my project proposal.


The focus of my project will be creatures and plants that can be found below the surface of the ocean, such as jellyfish and coral. I will look at the patterns, textures and intricate details seen within the jellyfish and plant life, as well as the overall shape of them. My designs will be aimed at women between 20 and 50 years old. I will be designing fabrics for daywear, evening wear and occasion wear, that could be used to produce garments and accessories. The fabrics will be aimed at a high-end market for spring/summer 2019.

To start my research, I will visit at least three beaches, museums or aquariums, where I will produce observational drawings, as well as taking photographs. I will also look at different books and websites and I will take notes and produce sketches of things that I feel will inspire me. To keep my mind focused on the task, I aim to create a target audience profile, along with mood boards and theme boards. These will include images of ocean creatures and plant life, textiles, fashion pieces, prints and illustrations, which will also inspire me. I aim to use a variety of both hand-printing and digital printing methods; however, I will predominately focus on hand-printing.

Overall, I aim to produce between 20 and 40 fabrics and I plan to use more luxury fabrics, such as silk habotai, sand-washed silk and leather. I will use acid dyes and illuminating dyes, when dyeing these fabrics and when screen-printing, due to the fibre content. I plan to use the laser cutter to produce my intricately cut out pieces of fabrics, along with fabrics that have been engraved. Another process I aim to look at using is foiling, to add metallic details to my prints. I will have to experiment with what would be the best method to add colour to leather. This could include transfer printing, mono-printing, screen printing and dyeing with acid dyes.

I will have to produce market research for my project to be successful. Firstly, I will research at least 6 designers, who either use ocean life in their work or produce textiles with a style that I find inspiring. I will take note of what part of the ocean life inspires them and has been used to produce their more successful designs, whether it be the patterns or the overall shapes. I will also produce a profile of my target audience, so that I am more aware of what prints they like to wear. Here I will look at pattern, style and colour. Additionally, I will look at a variety of shops, brands and companies. I will produce a shop survey, stating what is most popular in terms of colour, style, fabric and patterns and I will look at the pricing of their garments and accessories.


Here is the final collection, which can also be found in my portfolio...

Thank you for reading.

Katie x

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