Bog Myrtle, Pixie cups and Repurposing textiles

Mid April in Highland Perthshire

Although it is misty and drizzling it’s just perfect to see the colours on my walk today, and actually the kind of weather I like a lot. Something about the mist brings the tiniest details to life and I am seeing hints of orange, pink, rust, straw and grey skies – a really lovely palette. Perfect for inspiration for colours in a Roobedo luxury patch scarf which is the perfect layer-up today. The vivid orange of the lichen pixie cups and bracken alongside new shoots of green remind me of the print in the new THRIFT dress I’ve cut from discarded curtains. A dream of using non-virgin fabrics for all my clothes I make going forward – to use what’s already there, to reinvent and repurpose and offer new life. (Pictures from left: Ben Vrackie in the mist, Pixie cup lichen and larch pine cone buds)

Why use non-virgin fabrics in my work?

Repurposing helps the environment by reducing the amount of waste that is put into landfill, while also reducing the amount of virgin materials that are used to make new items. It is a concept that I embed in Roobedo sewing workshops, for example where we’ve used Coffee sacks from Glenlyon Coffee and old seat belts to make cross-body bags. Likewise projects I’ve delivered at Dundee & Angus College to my HND Textiles students have seen me sourcing waste materials such as old waterproof jackets from The Enchanted Forest Stewards, cashmere sample headers from Todd & Duncan and reject waxed cotton from Halley Stevensons.

Going forward I want to do more of the same in my own practice for Roobedo. I’ve dabbled with luxury patch scarves, arm warmers and elbow patches, but the THRIFT dress is a major stride in this direction for me. It’s tricky – you only have a limited amount of fabric, you might have faults or flaws to work around when cutting, you need to make sure it is thoroughly washed, steamed and pressed. And you need to photograph and present it with the same care and attention as you would a product that is a stock item. So this one-off amount of work is quickly redundant once the product sells. It is perfectly suited to a designer-maker like me as I work on small quantities and can react quickly to update my website as required. It is extremely rewarding and a great accompaniment to the organic range of denim that I already use.

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