pattern, color and a big picture view

January is a long way away, but I think I have the inspiration for my upcoming winter study. Long term readers will remember that I pick a topic of interest and devote the month of January to an independent study. Last year’s study was a high level introduction to the weaving techniques and styles of Sweden. The previous year was cloth to cloth, and so on.

This year, I want to poke at my discontent with pattern in weaving. You already know that I am not a fan of fancy twill, or plaid. I prefer to use color rather than pattern to make a statement, and I like to color outside the lines!

I am a fan of asymmetry and when I combine pattern and color, I expect each of them to move in their own direction, singing in harmony but not in unison.

Since the idea of this self-study just occurred to me today, I don’t know what shape it will take. It’s certainly drawing me back to many of the practices of fashion design that I learned as a student at Parsons School of Design. Why did I not think that these practices apply equally to things I weave?

First, there’s the inspiration, captured in a mood board. Let’s say I’m designing a scarf.  What inspires my colors? Who is the person who might wear the scarf and what is her attitude when she wears it?  What about her accessories, her favorite places and spaces? What shoes does she wear? What’s a playlist of her favorite music?

Then, I should start sketching the scarf, blocking in the idea of pattern and color with broad strokes, and most importantly, sketching how it will look when worn. Is there a way to wear it that showcases the pattern best? Does an entire collection emerge from the inspiration, with alternate colors and coordinating pieces. Does the scarf engender some knitwear, a coat, or a tote bag? Does all of this have a name?

It’s going to be fun, this time around. I won’t be working on an academic deadline, and I don’t have to design for the mainstream fashion industry.

Reality should come next, with a technical drawing and a spec sheet.This is where the draft gets created and the real colors of yarn would be chosen. Look at how much has gone before this point… Why would I think that this is where the process begins?

It’s been said before that when you change one part of a known process, the whole process flow evaporates until you get beyond the newness of that one part. I guess I’m at a point with my weaving that I can welcome the familiar flow back, but on my terms this time.

In Saori weaving, some of the process is there, but mostly in my head. The mood board is a big part of my Saori vision, but I was still working from the finished fabric backwards to the clothing design. Just for once, I’d like to visualize the clothing and then weave the fabric. Even if the nuances change, even if I don’t do the technical drawing, I want to weave the fabric that lives in my dreams.

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