How do I make these lovely necklaces?
I’ve often been asked about the story behind my upcycled fabric covered bead necklaces, so I will share a little with you about them. The fabric begins life as fabric swatches used to exhibit my surface pattern designs at international trade shows like Printsource in New York or Premier Vision in Paris.
I have my designs digitally printed on a silk-cotton blend of fabric by a company called The Centre for Advanced Textiles. They are part of Glasgow School of Art (my old art school) and have great specialist knowledge on textiles printing. They always produce such lovely rich and vibrant prints.
Once the textile swatches have finished fluttering around the world (like pretty, silky butterflies) they return to my studio and begin their transformation.
I cut them into strips, which I then join together to make the fabric into a long tube for the beads go into.
The fabric is sewn together on my trusty Janome sewing machine.
I use embroidery thread to hand sew 14 wooden beads into each necklace. I’m working under the eagle eye of the quality control cat here!
I use different colours of thread to stitch in the beads depending on what works well with the print design.
The ends of each necklace is finished with Bondaweb, for a nice clean edge (earlier necklaces were sewn). Then all that’s needed is to add a little Albaquirky label.
Then those pretty butterflies of fabric swatches have finished their transformation and have become funky caterpillars! Yes, I know that is the wrong way around, but I’ve never been one to follow the crowd ;-)
Each necklace takes about an hour and a half to make from start to finish. After that, all that’s required is to tie a pretty bow around their new owner’s neck and they can start a whole new journey with them!