Monday, 4 July 2016
Silk Marbling with Mischke Lingerie
You may remember our Round Up of this summer's Hill Street Design House workshops, featuring some of our favourite designers? Well, we managed to head along to one while we were both in Edinburgh for my birthday. Mischke Lingerie is in residence at the studios, where designer Hazel Lethaby creates hand marbled printed lingerie. It's delicate, feminine and pretty. I personally love her vintage-inspired collection, and we couldn't resist the opportunity to have a piece of our own.
This workshop focused on silk marbling techniques, in order to make our own print to be turned into either undies or a scarf. It seems like we've been doing a lot of crafting recently, but this is a new one for us. We've seen it in action before, at the Wasps Studios open day, so we know how mesmerizing it is to watch. The class was small, with ten people attending, allowing us to easily see everything. A lot of the hard work is in the prep of the material and the chemicals used to adhere the paint nicely to the fabric. Hazel had kindly set up all that bit beforehand, so she could talk us through the process and we could quickly get our hands on the fun bit- creating mess!
Building the marbling effect is, on the face of it, not too dissimilar from the paint marbling from our school days, splattering paint on a (treated) water surface, and gently swirling the paint around. Sounds pretty easy right? It turns out there is a little more technique to it than that. The paints have different levels of viscosity, and some spread out quickly. Some paint sinks to the bottom, causing a bit of illusion as to what you are going to end up with on your piece. As layers of this built up on the bottom it got more interesting/ confusing. We were given a couple of practice runs with some sample pieces of fabric, to try out colour combinations and shapes, before we took the plunge with our chiffon. We had a couple of goes, with Helen making an orange and black Halloween practice piece (because of course, the wee creep), while I made a yellow and pink Mr Blobby one (because I'm ridiculous).
While there is something very therapeutic about the paint splattering, it's when the cloth is applied that the real magic happens. Hazel helped us to gently drape our pieces onto the basin. Like a magnet, the paint would magically suck onto the fabric, frozen in its shape before being dunked in cold water to set it. There is something oh-so-satisfying about watching this happen. Once rinsed, the cloth is hung up to dry before being ironed to fix it in place. At this point you could finally see what you'd done.
Afterwards Hazel took our final piece away to whip up into something wearable, while we took our practice pieces home. Some people were going to make scarf squares with these bits, while others were going to frame and hang theirs. I haven't decided what my pink piece will become yet. For the moment it's making an excellent backdrop!
What do you think of our bespoke knickers? Mine are the dark galaxy print, while Helen went for a tangerine dream on white:
Thanks again to Mischke Lingerie and Hill Street Design House for having us come along to eat all the biscuits, and make some special smalls for ourselves. You can check out the rest of the upcoming events here.