Last month I was interviewed by Laura Connelly for Material Source. I'm delighted to say that the full article is now available to read online (scroll down to find the link for the full article)
You’re one of the only hand passementerie weavers left in the UK - can you tell us how you got started?"I’ve always loved textiles and trimmings and I’ve always collected scraps and bits and bobs. It wasn’t until I was a student at Central Saint Martins that I learnt about passementerie. We undertook a short project to produce trimmings and I was hooked. For the rest of my time there I taught myself the basics of passementerie.
"I continued to teach myself techniques, mainly by studying drawings and looking at antique examples. I worked for two years between CSM and the RCA (freelancing and selling passementerie samples). At the RCA I continued to teach myself more skills and I also experimented with scaling my designs."
In your view, why is this skill dying out?"I believe there is a number of reasons for this: 1.Tastes – The use of passementerie surges in popularity in times where ornateness and maximalism were popular – such as the 1980s. Good passementerie is also expensive to purchase/commission and I think a lot of people are unsure of how to use it.
"I also believe it's dying out as there isn’t anywhere you can actually go to learn the skills. You can learn to create a simple tassel easily but anything more than this is very complicated. The creation of passementerie is also so time consuming and laborious – you need to be extremely patient and happy to sit at a loom for hours on end on your own!"