“Artists, designers and makers are proving that weaving can be manoeuvred in near endless directions.” Says Victoria Woodcock as she explores the application of weaving techniques across disciplines, from loom to loupe.
Accompanied by the sound of birdsong in Greenwich Park, Jacob Monk is telling me how his teenage interest in embroidery has led him to a career in weaving. “I just fell in love with the equipment that comes with each part of the weaving process,” says the 27-year-old designer, who began his love affair with the loom while studying textiles at Central Saint Martins and now has a studio space at Cockpit Arts in Deptford. “I’m on The Clothworkers’ Company Award, which gives me subsidised rent for two years and access to the weavers’ studio, which has six looms in it, shared by the five of us. We have a loom rota. I have definitely found my thing.”
Monk’s thing, specifically, is ikat weaving – a technique that originated in Indonesia, using resist-dyed yarns to create patterned fabrics. “Ikat is such an ancient process,” he says. “If you look at places like Indonesia, Japan, India, they’ve really mastered the process so that when you look at the fabric you think there’s no way it’s been hand woven, but it has, and its all been hand-dyed to create the pattern. That’s how you get that kind of blurred effect between the colours. It looks almost like it’s been painted. It’s got a very organic sense of movement to it.”