At Humphries Weaving we are regularly approached by artists and designers to take their ideas and produce a custom woven Jacquard fabric.
This is where our skills come in as textile designers to translate the initial concept into a functional cloth that still captures the spirit of the original artwork and desire of the artist.
We are often asked “How fine can I make my design?” and the answer often surprises those who ask. Our looms have the capability to control threads individually; with 8 threads in every millimetre of a silk fabric we can weave very intricate detail.
A great way to capture complex detail is in a photographic Jacquard fabric technique. This method gives us quite a fluid result. Instead of creating harsh lines we can blend areas of colour and texture with the intention to make the fabric as realistic as possible .We are able to condense the many thousands of colours in a photograph on our CAD system to a selection we can work with and apply a different weave or colour to create tonal value. The different weaves allow you to gain depth in the fabric by tricking the eye into believing that there are more colours woven than there is in reality. Just as an artist would do with a palette of paint, a textile designer uses the yarn as their palette, mixing colour, tone and texture.
We have worked with Studio Orta utilising this photographic Jacquard fabric technique in a very dramatic way. Our first development saw the creation of large panels of fabric to be used as running table decoration during the travelling meal 70 X 7. Artist Lucy Orta provided us with the artwork that we directly translated into a woven Jacquard fabric.
This September we were involved in a Studio Orta project to weave their poppy design for a table runner, featuring at the harvest festival in the Cathedral Square of Peterborough city centre. Surprisingly this Jacquard fabric uses only four colours; one silk warp tone, two silk weft yarns and the gold metallic; yet the final result looks as if there could be many more. By mixing colours and taking warp and weft to the face or back of the cloth we have collaboratively produced this wonderful fabric; an art piece in its own right.
Moving around the cloth you gain a real sense of depth and vitality from the different colours you can see. Much like a painting the light, colour and texture change as you look from differing angles. You cannot help be drawn to the bright red poppies emerging from the lush golden green meadow.