Surface Design Experiments

During session I was practising different types of surface design techniques. The theme i chose was medical and floral. I wanted to combine the two and see what the final piece would be . So this above is my inspiration board. You can see that it’s very textured and there’s a bit of layering going on. I need to apply this to the samples that i make.

1. Veins

So I did the most obvious which is veins. The great thing about embroidery is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Firstly I used red thread to stitch, then i used purple and then blue. i think this gives it a little bit more dimension than just using one coloured thread.

2. Muscle and veins

For this i using a felting machine, it’s exactly the same at a felting tool but this is a machine. So I placed the loose wool onto the fabric and used the felting machine to allow me to keep the wool in place with out stitching on it. Then I freehand embroidered onto the wool and fabric using the red and blue thread, again to give it a more 3D feel to it.

3. Muscle and skeleton

I wanted to create a similar design as before but this time trying to create a bone/ skeleton. Again using the felting machine then using white thread to embroider onto the wool and fabric. This time instead of doing some lines here and there this time I filled in the gaps.

4. Flower and veins

I wanted to keep using veins so for this I used the appliqué technique to add fabric onto the base fabric. Firstly I got the design of the flower and then I ironed it onto bondaweb which is like an interfacing but the glue is on both sides to allow one fabric to stick onto another. Afterwards I cut the flower precisely and ironed it onto the blue fabric. I freehand embroidered around the flower and leaves. Lastly I embroidered veins around the flowers.

5. Flowers with added beads

Just like the last technique I used appliqué and embroidered around the flowers and leaves. Then I added a bead border around it just to experiment with the look of the final sample.

6. Flower and Bug using Vanishing fabric

For this last sample instead of using fabric, I used vanishing fabric which basically dissolves when you add water so all you have left is the thread itself. When using this fabric you have to make sure that there are no loose ends of the fabric or too little thread as the thread will just unravel when you take it out of the water. you must sew in all directions in order to keep the thread in place after you put it underwater. So what I did is I drew the outline of the shape I wanted to on the fabric and I freehand embroidered on it. After I had sewn all my shapes I put the fabric under warm water until most of the fabric has dissolved. It’s up to you how much you dissolved the fabric if you want to add stiffness to the shape you try to leave a bit of fabric onto the thread. After I had waited for the thread to dry, I sew on another fabric some veins to imitate leaves and then I hand sew the shapes onto the fabric as well.

In general, it’s easy to recreate these techniques all you need is practice to get the hang of free machine embroidery as you’re the one moving the fabric and not the teeth of the machine this time.

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