Daring bright colors and contemporary designs are the key essentials of Angharad McLaren’s woven textiles. Inspired by a dynamic mix of human and natural influences McLaren’s latest Shibori Pleat collection is influenced by water sport activities such as sailing and windsurfing.
Her passion for the sea and water-sports visually inspired McLaren to create a collection which features Dobby and Jacquard designs which are ideal for indoor and outdoor applications such as blinds, screens, wall panels, floor mats and furnishings. Her textiles are created using traditional techniques which are updated using the latest computerized hand-weaving and industrial technology. Materials range from organic natural fibers to neoprene to performance textiles such as recycled ropes which are appropriate for climbing. While recycling and being super eco-friendly McLaren has an ethical production method of repurposing existing materials into new woven patterns.
Despite her recent Master’s degree from the Royal College of Art's textile-design program, McLaren tries to further her knowledge in textile design and development through her personal experience (as a sports lover) of sports and performance textiles which has led her to explore hi-tech yarns and finishes such as water-repellent waxes, neoprene and reflective yarns as well as organic, recycled eco-friendly fibers. Through her research and development process she has combined these with new weave structures and updated traditional patterns, while sometimes combining industrial production with hand finishing techniques to create unique innovative effects which only result in creating fresh, modern functional designs!
Included in her new textile collection is Shibori Pleat series which is a complex Jacquard design woven on power looms but finished by had to create stunning three-dimensional pleats. Shibori is a Japanese method of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, or compressing it. Some of these methods are commonly known to us Westerners as tie-dye. There is no exact word which is equivalent that includes all the shibori techniques. Her Rope collection on the other hand, is hand woven but uses neoprene and technical sailing ropes that are UV and abrasion resistant so are perfectly suited to use as mats in bathrooms, kitchens, poolside’s, patios and yachts.
We have to admit that her designs with the vibrant colors and the patterns are just stunning! To take it a step further, it doesn’t only seem that McLaren is only inspired by windsurfing and sailing but by nature and the sea itself. While looking at the pictures of her textiles I caught my brain wandering off and making reference to sea corals, and sea shells as there seem to be similarities. Its actually quite nice and difficult at the same time to find common reference in not such common things as windsurfing, sea corals, textiles and Japanese dyeing methods and actually design it and develop it into fabulous colored contemporary textiles!
To experience Angharad McLaren’s vibrant and dynamic woven textiles you can view her signature collection which will be launching at 100% Design London // Futures from September 24- 27, 2009 // Stand H93. Angharad McLaren textiles are available to order by-the-meter or made up in a range of interior accessories such as cushions, throws, rugs, blinds, screens and wall hangings.
McLaren also creates gift items and undertakes private and commercial commissions for interiors, fashion and sports textiles, and either woven by hand at her studio or on power-looms at UK weaving mills.