Kathryn Smits

Exploring traditional techniques in new ways

Taking inspiration from the traditional textiles of Central and South America. The geometric patterns and styles of weavings and embroideries have been reimagined into new designs to be translated into a range of swatches using illustration, embroidery and weaving techniques.

There is a lot we can learn about sustainable practices by looking at history.

A range of materials and techniques, similar to those used in the traditional textiles have been experimented with to translate designs from sketches to swatches.

The traditional textiles used natural dyeing methods to create a wide range of colours. Many of the materials used in both Central and South America are not easily available in Australia, instead a natural colour palette was created with yarns and fabrics being dyed using foodstuffs such as berries, cabbage, turmeric, beetroot and black beans. Mordants and pH modifiers- alum, vinegar, washing soda helped tailor the colours to suit the specific style and mood of the project.

Created a range of swatches and croquis that explore the pattern styles and different techniques.

The traditional textiles used a range of embroidery and weaving techniques. These methods have been utilised for this project using different embroidery stitches to translate artworks from paper-based designs onto strips of dyed linen. These designs stayed at a smaller scale due to the limited amount of materials as everything was being hand dyed.