Using thread and yarns to create textures

A Creative Approach — Project 2 Developing your marks — Stage 6 — Using thread and yarns to create textures

In this exercise we had to use different threads and yarns to create textures.

front side:

rear side:

I tried another – with different layers of fabric, different stitches and different/multiple threads of varying weights.

close ups:



rear side:

I had made some small sketches (finding I like the A5 size, small but handy to carry around), so the stitching above is based on some of the shapes in these sketches.



Can you begin to see the relationship between stitching and drawing?
yes, definitely. I can see it more and more since working on these exercises. I think I have even started to draw/sketch with stitching in mind.

Were you able to choose stitches which expressed the marks and lines of your drawings?
yes, I learnt a few stitches including running stitch, back stitch, blanket stitch, stem stitch, chain stitch, cretan stitch, satin stitch and was able to adapt some of these to match the marks in some of my sketches.

Did you choose the right source material to work from?
I think I chose the correct sketches to work from. though they were new sketches that I’d drawn after doing some of the embroidery exercises previously. I’m not sure that most of my previous source material (mark making exercises) were suited to stitching — I can see how some of them might work well as stitched pieces, but not all of them.

Do you think your sample works well irrespective of the drawing? Or is your sample
merely a good interpretation of your drawing?

yes, I like my sample as a standalone piece even if it wasn’t based on some of the shapes in the mark making sketches. I think it has interesting shapes and styles. I tried a few different stitches and threads of varying weights and colours which I think adds interest to the piece and makes a person look more closely at it to see the detail and to see the mistakes/hand made properties of it.

Which did you prefer – working with stitch to create textures or working with yarns
to make textures? Which worked best for you and why?

I preferred working with stitches to create textures as I could layer the stitches and combine them in different shapes and patterns. I only had limited materials/threads with me (whilst traveling) so I felt my combinations of different yarn types was more limiting. also, some of the couching using gold foil paper was so delicate that the foil ripped easily which made it harder to work with.

Make some comments on individual techniques and sample pieces. Did you
experiment enough? Did you feel inhibited in any way? Fix them into your sketchbook
if you want to or start a separate book of sample references.

my favourite technique was using blanket stitch in circles (based on Junko Oki’s work — though mine ended up looking different to hers). it was fun to stitch circles and change the direction of the stitch rows slightly so they were more organically aligned. I think I experimented with a few new stitches (new to me), but I probably could have tried more materials and threads. it’s just I was enjoying making the circles so much I didn’t worry too much about trying more threads (plus, the limited supply of them in my travel case).

Do you prefer to work from a drawing or by playing with materials and yarns to
create effects? Which method produced the most interesting work?

I prefer to play with the materials, yarns and stitches and see what they lead me to rather than doing a sketch first. I think my casual experimentation worked best.

Are there other techniques you would like to try? Are there any samples you would
like to do in a different way?

I’d like to try more Japanese darning and creating netting. with the samples, I’d make them similar again, though I would try having some as they are and others with more overlapping layers. I didn’t add too many layers to the samples at this stage because I liked how they turned out. but this means that I missed out on seeing how they would look with layered stitches on top of each other.

Is there anything you would like to change in your work? If so, make notes for future

yes, add more layers, and try different sized circles. I’d like to try some netting also. and also a portrait, or image from a photo where I convert to greyscale/black&white and then enhance the outlines and try stitch that. ie something more realistic.