A while back I mentioned I was entering the Hermes tie design competition – where one of the rules was not to reveal the work, but since I am not a finalist I think its OK to show what I did now.
I decided to make a physical tie because I wanted to experiment with a heritage craft technique called “drawn threadwork”. This method uses a somewhat coarsely woven fabric (here I used a 2-tone linen where the warp and weft are different colours).
My Oma had made some table linens using this technique so I went to visit her to learn it and spent a pleasant afternoon testing ideas on swatches with her.
What you do is carefully pick out warp and weft threads in the pattern of your choice, and then you stitch it down in various subtle patterns. I spent hours and hours taking small, precise stitches to secure the drawn threads, a task I found enjoyable. Detail work like this demands that you to both concentrate and yet you can also allow your mind to drift somewhat… it creates a pleasant mental state – sort of like knitting, which I am not as good at.
Now I was not surprised I wasn’t a finalist. Sometimes as a designer I can be inspired by a technique and sometimes I can get trapped by it – in this case the fabric selection I needed to do the threadwork was too thick to create a useable tie – the knot on this thing (if you can knot it) is about the size of a man’s fist and would be way too much for any collar. I’ve made my fair share of unwearable garments over the years – I would have to say this one is among my most favourite aesthetically.
Thank you to Eleni Nikoletsos for taking such lovely photos with her macro lens and generously allowing me to post them! And thanks to Lisa Canning for introducing me to Eleni. Click the pictures for (slightly) bigger views.