Just add water


In 2009, during my time as Programme Leader of BA(Hons) Fashion Textiles at Middlesex University, I had access to a fantastic range of textile equipment we inherited from the closure of the Print and Constructed textiles courses. I worked with Julie Stephenson, the senior Weave Tutor and our intern Grace to explore the potential for spatial and temporal design in woven structures using simple materials and traditional weave methodologies. By studying the shrinking effects of wool in hot water combined with effects of weave and yarn structure we engineered a 2D layered textile that when cut off the loom resembled a 2D flat, rectangular piece of cloth, yet when exposed to hot water, the material was transformed into a fully fashioned vest with design details without the need for further processing i.e. cutting and sewing. This simple project demonstrates that a shift in thinking about materials can deliver structures that move from static design to 4D self assembling systems.