The aim of Loony Loops is to experiment with recycled textile materials to create innovating new design that sparks sensory interest – ultimately used as a tool to send a powerful message about the positive effect of sustainable practice. The fast fashion industry produces exuberant amounts of textile waste, fuelled by our need to consume the new, and requires altering the design process to minimise waste. Looking at hand touch of traditional craft techniques and design that is aesthetically and theoretically conscious of the environment, the creation can hold strong sentimental value that is kept for a lifetime.
Playing with imagination, Loony Loops explores reinventing punch needle craft by maximising texture and creating a sensory textile sculpture using recycled materials. My research started with investigating a renewal of the valued craft technique of rug hooking and punch needle, combined with the powerful sustainable ethos of animated Studio Ghibli films that are enveloped in whimsical aesthetics. This led me to create a project that combines traditional artistry with fantasy imagination and deep connection to the environment. Naïve abstract floral and anatomical shapes create a visual conversation between human and nature, presented in a whimsical mood of floral inspired pastel tones and playful punchy neons. Much like the mesmerising hues of Japan’s Studio Ghibli, the rainbow palette animates a world of wonder and imagination.
The material play of revalued yarn and fabric challenged my design practice to minimise waste and reinvents punch needle with an abstract combination of texture and colour. Playtypes were created by exploring hand manipulation of punch needle loops to maximise texture, creating stimulating new design. The design process begun by drawing in coloured pencil, translating onto loosely woven Monk’s Cloth, and tufted using the #10 Oxford punch needle. The limits were pushed with the unusual use of unconventional yarn/fabric not traditionally suited for tufting. I played with three dimensional exaggerated forms, textural looped fringing, and visual contrast in metallic shine and highlighting neons combined with soft fluffy feels to create a series of sensory stimulating pieces. The final textile sculpture meshes human and nature through motif in a whimsical textural world promoting sustainable zero waste practice and deep meaning created with an artistic study of the natural world.