Before starting my Boro samples, I got out all the scraps and odd bits of fabric I collected from old projects or got from family members, and then picked out the bits with green tones or red/pink tones to use, as those are the colours I am planning to include in my digital print. For my first sample, I cut out squares to mimic the traditional style of Boro, and I then laid out the pieces of fabric in an order that I liked and pinned them down to start sewing. I used a simple running stitch going horizontally and vertically with this sample, again mimicking the traditional style. I found whilst sewing that my thread looked too thick and spoilt the delicacy of the Boro as the stitching looked chunky and clumsy. The thick thread also meant it was hard to sew in the areas where a few fabrics were on top of each other, which was frustrating, but I persevered with it, and I eventually finished. I think the layering of different textures is successful and invites you to touch and feel the sample, and the stitching adds an all-over pattern that brings all of the fabrics together, though for my second sample, I will separate the embroidery floss I use in half so that it is thinner and more delicate.
For my second sample I decided to cut out circles instead of squares to mimic cells in a body, or in plants. I used a mix of greens and pinks again, but used thinner thread to make it easier to sew through the layers, and to give a neater finish. I also sewed a circular pattern, using the visible curved edges of the fabric as a guide instead of the traditional vertical and horizontal lines. I think this sample is a lot more fun and playful than the first, and it jumps out at you as the stitch complements the shapes instead of burying them.
Reclaim to wear
Reclaim to Wear is an up-cycling fashion label, offering a solution to an environmental challenge, hoping to inspire a shift to a less wasteful future where surplus fabric and old clothes are reused and redesigned to prolong their life-cycle. The brand uses methods for reclamation, which can be taught to anyone anywhere, from individuals to large manufactures. The brand says ‘we look at textile waste as a resource, taking the unwanted and making it desirable again – creatively, practically, at home or scale. They have collaborated with Topshop and Speedo, and their techniques have been used by central saint martins students. Up-cycling is an effective way to use up the clothes made by large corporations only to go straight into landfills. The pieces created in collaboration with Topshop are all wearable, stylish garments, and you wouldn’t know they were made from leftover fabric and old clothes. In my final piece, I want to use materials I have leftover from previous products and off-cuts from other peoples work to make a patchwork pair of trousers to make sure my final piece is a sustainable and eco friendly as it can be, whilst also costing me less money, as I don’t need to buy any extra fabric.