Inspiration: Alabama Chanin


Alabama Chanin is known for elaborately embellished hand sewn garments made form recycled and organic materials. Their clothes, accessories and homewares are made in collaboration with craftsmen of diverse disciplines from North West Alabama, combining age old techniques with a contemporary sensibility. I love that they also work with sustainable philosophies.

I saw one of Alabama Chanin’s quilts on dear ada and clicked through to their website to find more stunning creations. The quilts which were once considered unsalvageable have been upcycled and given new life as wall art with screen printing and hand stitching. Organic cotton applique and embroidered oral histories add value, depth and meaning to quilts that had previously been discarded as unusable.


Their chairs are rebuilt with handcrafted details, and chandeliers and vases are made from found and recycled materials. The colour palettes and photography are gorgeous too huh?

Image Source: Alabama Chanin

Aren’t they the most beautiful creations? And all the more so when you know the story of handcrafting, sustainability and community which is intrinsic to Alabama Chanin.
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Embroidered Illustration: Lizzie Finn

Needlepoint and machine stitched portraits of
Gwen Stefani and Terri Hall for Dazed and Confused.

UK artist Lizzie Finn uses embroidery as an illustration medium, with lovely and arresting results.

Embroidered Fashion Illustration for British Vogue.

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Wool Felt FlatHat

After writing my previous post I had a look at Gareth Holt’s other work and discovered his ingenious flat pack hat design. The wool felt FlatHat has lattice cuts and can be “folded, stuffed or rolled within a pocket when not worn, without being crushed or damaging the structure”.

Brilliant!

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The Art of Visual Communication

As a graphic designer one of the things that interests me is the art of visual communication. So I was tickled to find these brilliant examples which are a collaboration between Ben Branagan and Gareth Holt for an exhibition called ‘Rank': Picturing the Social Order 1516 – 2009.

These imaginatively designed ‘charts’ were created to depict statistical data exploring different aspects of social hierarchy. The text is easier to read on Ben’s site – the charts aren’t so meaningful or impressive if you can’t read them!

Socio-economic classification of the working population, Spring 2002
Image Source: Ben Branagan.
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Embroidered Paper


I have a thing for paper. I was origami mad as a child and have always loved creating anything with paper. I’ve been working on some 3D paper forms lately and I’ve been experimenting with paper embroidery. I’m not really ready to show anything yet, but I will when I’m happy with it all. Anyway… this is a round about introduction to some embroidered paper and embroidered illustrations I’ve found. I love the somewhat unexpected combination of paper and thread.

I blogged about Darren Song‘s work a month or so ago, and then I just had to order a custom made ‘Ollie The Red Panda’ from his etsy shop. I took some close up photos (above) to show you how wonderfully layered and dense the stitching is.

I had a little wander around etsy and found these lovely examples of embroidered paper.

One-of-a-kind Embroidered Map Collage – East, by Shannon Rankin of selflesh.

Happy card, by orangedotgreen.

And I love this Gem Rain card by sissyFIST.
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