There seemed to be two dominant themes to the postgraduate textiles show at Chelsea this year: upcycling and working with textile workers in developing countries such as India and Thailand.
Here are a few of my favourites from the show. As usual, no photography was allowed, so images are from the students’ own websites or blogs or from the Chelsea College website.
Sahiba Rajar produced beautiful digital prints decorated with embroidery and applique, inspired by the Makli Tombs in Pakistan.
Kristel Erga recycles textile scraps into magnetic jigsaw pieces used as wall coverings – designs include felt fringes, and delicate butterflies and flowers.
Lisa Hawthorne takes remnants, vintage fabrics and locally sourced materials and transforms them using nuno felt, beading and other embellishments. Her work made me want to try experimenting with nuno felt on velvet.
Chia Shan Lee knits gorgeous garments with yarn made from newspaper, sometimes mixed with wool. I wonder what happens if you wear them in the rain?
Finally, there is nothing new under the sun. Hanging on the outside of Chelsea College was a collection of coloured discs. As I got closer, it became apparent that they were crocheted out of plastic bags. Yes – they were (much) larger versions of the coasters I crocheted earlier this year from plarn and then ironed. They were the work of Ji Na Sung, who had also extended the concept into making large boxes and plant holders.
Maybe I should sign up for an MA next year!