I decided to organise my fabric box with the hope of making space for new fabrics, however when I discovered the tangled-up mess at the bottom of the tub, I found myself tempted into the challenge of doing something with it! After all, ‘waste not, want not! ‘ So, in line with my current desire to upcycle and reuse old materials, I set myself the task of finding ways to use this heap of textile chaos!
If I had a spinning wheel, I would have been very inclined to take handfuls of the knotted together mess to see what happened when it was spun. Instead I cut up the material into smaller snippets and used hand carders to distribute them through some merino fibres. I then used a hand spindle to spin quite a nice ‘raggedy’ yarn.
The next step was to try crocheting this yarn.
I also used the combined snippets and fibre to create some handmade felt which relied on a relatively small amount of bondable fibre in order to felt; the result was a very precariously held-together fabric. Stitches could be used to add substance and to support the incorporated fabric pieces.
Another way of combining the materials was to use a sewing machine to stitch through the various materials. I quite liked the texture created by this method as different thicknesses are achieved, is’s also exciting to do as the colour and texture combinations are created before your eyes.
Cut up fabrics have been freeform crocheted to form a thick and lumpy fabric and stitches have been added giving cohesion.
Frayed muslin strips have been freeform crocheted with a large 15mm crochet hook and then hand stitched. I find this crocheted fabric to be pleasingly soft, but bulky. I think that the contrast of tiny stitches with large crochet stitches is interesting.
I feel that there is loads of potential in combining fabric scraps with crochet or felting and stitching to create distressed looking fabrics, however I need to look at creating more delicate methods of using crochet to achieve a more compatible texture to use with the rippled bias- stitched fabrics I have been working on.
Next week I will show my experiments to discover ways to make crochet and the bias-stitched fabric work well together.