Recycling T shirts

I have generated a fair number of scrap T-shirts in the process of making stock. When the screen printing rig is all set up, it’s a good idea to run through a couple of prints to get everything running smoothly before embarking on a job. I also create multiple samples in different colours, and sometimes things go wrong too. The result of all this is a steady supply of scrap Tees, which are kept in a box under my workbench till they literally fill up with print. I turn them inside out and use the backs, and eventually they go in a scrap pile. In the past I would take this to the tip where old textiles are collected to be recycled into new, but recently I’ve been trying to close the loop and use more of this resource myself. In part because some very happy accidents often occur and make beautiful unique prints.

Print over print over print over print…

Print over print over print over print…

Rotary cutter ribbons of jersey.

Rotary cutter ribbons of jersey.

First I hopped on YouTube where someone demonstrated how to turn a T-shirt into a continuous ball of yarn with a rotary cutter and a rule. Just google ‘recycling a T shirt’ or similar.

Pompoms in the studio

Pompoms in the studio

Now I had my ball of jersey yarn, which naturally curled into a cord, and where there was a lot of print, looked a bit like a pretty ribbon. I made a couple of pompoms, it was close to Christmas and they made great decorations for my kraft paper gift wrap.

Next I KNITTED a tea-cosy. I haven’t photographed it because it’s not at all attractive, though it’s great at keeping my tea warm! I also broke a knitting needle with the sheer heft of the yarn, and got a dose of RSI. Plus, now we have a tea-cosy, what am I going to knit next?

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Luckily, just as I was casting around for the next project, (watch out, pooch) I spotted a Crochet workshop, and signed up pronto.
https://www.heatherorr.co.uk/workshops

I’d never crochet-ed (?) before, I think my needle-ninja mum gave up after the pain of teaching me to knit.

Heather made the whole experience not just pain-free but fun and useful. Just a 90 minute session with a very specific goal- a crochet planter/ pen pot/ nest… All in the beautiful surroundings of Pot & Vessel, in Folkestone.
https://www.instagram.com/pot_and_vessel/

WIP and yarn

WIP and yarn

For when you have three eggs to store.

For when you have three eggs to store.

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WIP

WIP

My first pot- made at Heather’s workshop.

My first pot- made at Heather’s workshop.

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I have now crafted 3 pots, and there will be more. However, along the way I’ve also started using my home-made yarn on the swing tags for my T-shirts. Such a small touch, but so satisfying.

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Packaging 2.0

Having almost nailed the packaging in January, there were a few comments about the choice of boxes- and the space they would occupy on those precious shop shelves. So a new slimline box has been sourced, and the printing slightly tinkered with- and now we really are there with the Sight Hound T-shirt retail/ gift box.

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Posted on March 8, 2019 .

BAFTA's 2019

I love a collaboration, so when the opportunity to work with my pal Zoe Stevens presented itself I bit off the proverbial hand. Zoe is a costume designer- stylist- fashion designer (and yet more multi- hyphens too numerous to list here) and frequently travels the world making huge flashy events like the MTV awards look suitably impressive for her clients.
This brief was to kit out the Cirque du Soleil gymnasts with astronaut themed costumes for their performance at the BAFTA’s at the Royal Albert Hall. The concept was all about marking the 50th anniversary of sending a man to the moon, but of course they had to be extremely robust and versatile for the gymnasts.
Zoe had devised the collection of garments and I screen printed her geometric details onto the technical fabrics she’d selected for the job. We were using a gorgeous lightweight neoprene, which moved beautifully and ‘loved the ink’- it was very satisfying to screen print onto as the surface was so smooth and absorbent.
70 pieces later, the fabric panels were sent off to be made up by a genius maker, and I didn’t see them again till the night of the awards- Cirque du Soleil gave a mind-blowing performance, I was thrilled to have played a small part in bringing the show to life.

You can see the performance here- I do recommend, It’s quite stunning…

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=344715589465414

Cirque du Soleil Flyer

Cirque du Soleil Flyer

Cirque du Soleil flyers and catchers

Cirque du Soleil flyers and catchers

Joanna Lumley & Cirque du Soleil backstage at the Royal Albert Hall. Pic: Zoe Stevens

Joanna Lumley & Cirque du Soleil backstage at the Royal Albert Hall. Pic: Zoe Stevens

Fold, store, and gift.

Display, stack and easily locate different sizes, without having to refold.

This was the agenda when we decided to create a packaging solution for our T-shirts. But because we’re such nerds, we’ve screen printed the boxes just like we do our shirts. The result is a delicious giftable box- it’s a keeper. So your customer is getting a premium product too.

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We’re still developing this offer- so there is a slim box in the pipeline for tight spaces.
Get in touch if you’d like a sample- email your address details and link to your shop website to

admin@sight-hound.co.uk

Posted on January 31, 2019 .

Bags of style

This autumn has been busy; prepping for Christmas business and launching two new lines. Simultaneously producing customer orders and trying to educate myself on the latest twists and turns of social media marketing. I am most drawn to the creative: developing new products.
I wanted to tackle tote bag designs, these had real charm but had flopped commercially, in part because they evolved from a home storage concept I'd dreamt up for my own home, and it wasn't easy to get the idea across on the pages of a web-shop.
Following great feedback on the images, it was on the to-do list to revamp and relaunch as soon as possible. I ordered a huge range of different shapes and styles of canvas bags to try out, and picked the one I felt was best both aesthetically and practically.
I also wanted to experiment with more colour, and created a grainy textured looking ground which looked great printed on the canvas as a background to the sketchy imagery. The final colour combination has warmth and taste, it elevates the whole design.

 

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Posted on October 31, 2017 and filed under 2017.

Cool stuff to start

Much planning going on here- and lots of work on new designs. I like to mix it up, so a morning tussle with SEO is followed by big, bold sketches with a sharpie and my A3 spiral bound sketch pad in the studio. This drawing seems to be saying 'cheerio' to the old year and greeting 2017.
I'm not one for new years' resolutions but hoping for more live music, some travel and finally getting to grips with the garden this year.

Posted on January 6, 2017 and filed under 2017.

Country Living

It has been wonderful to see my cushions in the June edition of Country Living magazine. Mary Claire of Frank in Whitstable has a beautiful seaside bungalow which was featured in detail. She has an amazing eye, and it was no surprise to see her home decor is as well considered as her shop displays. Francine Raymond gave us the story of the bungalow & I loved to see my own work alongside such fabulous furniture and pottery in Catherine Gatwicke's photographs, styled by Hester Page.

Posted on May 11, 2015 and filed under 2016.

Folkestone Triennial Fringe

It was a lot of fun to create this shipping signal flag inspired bunting for the Triennial Fringe Hub. Situated on the harbour, and housed in a couple of souped up shipping containers, what could be more colourful and appropriate? The Triennial is also titled 'Look out'. The codes I selected read:

Affirmative,
I want to communicate with you,
Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals,
You are running into danger, and the slightly hilarious:
I am manoeuvering with difficulty.

Posted on September 17, 2014 and filed under 2016.

Frank

A drive to Whitstable on the north coast of Kent proved worthwhile last Friday. I met the hawk-eyed owner Mary Claire at Frank, who knows exactly what she's at with her design-led gift shop full of carefully collected objects, cards and prints. My cushions look right at home, my U-Sew-Me kits look smart, and scarfs are on their way. It was lovely to chat with another graphics/ typo/ colour enthusiast in the wonderful surroundings of Frank, and then to take a short stroll around Whitstables' impressive independent shops.

http://www.frankworks.eu/

Cushions on display at Frank.

Cushions on display at Frank.

Posted on November 25, 2013 and filed under 2016.

Poetry Collaboration

A wonderful poem and drawing of my son's, and an invitation to contribute to a poetry exhibition , coincided last week and I pulled the elements together in these two cushions. 

Drawing

Drawing

These cushions are a collaboration between me and my son. He wrote the poem and drew the bird as a piece of creative writing at school- it came home at the end of term among a bundle of work and it really stood out to me as something he'd enjoyed doing so well. Soon afterwards I was invited to contribute to this show and I realised it was a chance to do something more with this poem. The eagle drawing was almost a silhouette and ideal to make into a paper stencil screen print. I am making lots of cushions at the moment and I like the contrast of putting a bird of prey on to something intrinsically soft.

Screen printing offers many qualities including repeats, which is why there are two cushions with different treatments.

Cushion 1 & 2

Cushion 1 & 2

Posted on November 7, 2013 and filed under 2016.