Moorland textiles

Textile1During our walk on the moors at the weekend, I gathered all sorts of fragments of sheeps fleece, moss, feathers, grass and so on.  I trapped these between two sheets of water-soluble fabric and fastened into an embroidery hoop.  Using freehand machine embroidery (lower the feeddog and use a darning foot) I created a lacy structure to hold the fragments together.  These are close-ups of the final pieces.Textile2


5 thoughts on “Moorland textiles

  1. It is wonderful stuff! It’s like heavy cling film (but not so clingy). You can just sew straight onto it to create lacy structures, or you can trap things between the sheets (as I did here). When you’ve done sewing, you just put the whole thing under water and the fabric dissolves away. It turns slightly gluey, so if you don’t wash it away completely, it goes stiff when dry. This is useful if you want to create a 3D structure with it. Otherwise, you just have to wash all the gluey stuff out. Great fun!

  2. Hi Carole,

    This is delicious. I’ve done lots and lots of FME but I’ve never incorporated natural items. What a great idea – the potential is incredible. Well done.

  3. Just spotted these again on google images and they once again caught my attention!

    How does the water solouble material work and where do you get it from?

    Wish i could sew!!!

  4. Water soluble fabric is rather like thick cling film. You can stretch it into an embroidery hoop, and then stitch it like fabric. For these pieces, we were doing machine free-embroidery. For this, you need a sewing machine on which you can lower the feed-dog (the little teeth underneath the needle which feed the fabric through the machine). This means that you can then move the embroidery hoop around manually to control where the needle goes, and therefore embroider whatever you like. I just ‘scribbled’ with it! Once you’ve finished embroidering, you simply run the ‘fabric’ underneath warm water, and it dissolves away. It is slightly gluey (it is basically like a layer of glue), so if you don’t rinse all the glue out, you can form shapes with the embroidery to make 3D embroidery (like a bowl or something) by forming it over a mold. Because the water-soluble fabric does entirely dissolve away, you need to make sure the threads of the embroidery form enough of a ‘mesh’ to hold themselves together once the fabric has dissolved.

    You can get the watersoluble fabric from here –

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