Tag Archives: Curtain

Assignment 5 – Reflective commentary


By the time I got to start on this assignment I understood completely how the rest of the course prepared me for the process of the final project and that the discipline of progressing through conceiving an idea, developing and then making is going to stand me in excellent stead for continuing my studies.  Until I was actually working on my theme book, sketching and making notes using a multitude of resources, I had not realised how much potential development work I could have from this little collection of bits and pieces.  I am really looking forward to the next project, now I understand how stimulating this way of working can be.  With my theme book I found that once there was a personal connection, a way of putting part of myself into the project, even if only a tiny part, this made a huge difference to how I felt about the work and how motivated I became.

I found I did take a lot of time to think about the initial development, once I had decided on an end “product”.  I think this helped to avoid too many big changes of course as I had pretty much made up my mind about how I wanted the piece to look.  I also restricted myself to a handful of fabrics and threads with a neutral colour scheme, apart from the odd accent of colour and I believe this went a long way to help make sure I wasn’t going to keep changing my mind and waste time and materials.

I used a fair proportion of recycled fabric that I re-purposed, using tea and onion skin dye and resist techniques to provide texture and colour.  I endeavour to tread lightly on our earth in my life in general and, even though it might mean I am restricting myself in the materials I have access to, I firmly believe that I will be able to source most things that I need in an environmentally aware way.  As long as I can be ingenious with the resources that I have I intend to keep this environmental focus uppermost during my studies, as I do in the rest of my life.  As my final piece incorporated my ideas of memories, ageing and time I believe I achieved an effective result using my “pre-loved” fabrics.  In the end the only item I purchased for the final project was the ivory voile fabric.  All the threads and the rest of the fabrics were already in my collection, either remnants from other projects, gifts and charity shop finds.

I could not have anticipated chosing to produce a curtain-style hanging final piece when I started out this project and that has been one of the joys of this particular exercise.  Once I started on the journey of design from initial idea to final product there was a real feeling of excitement in exploring all the avenues of possibility, like travelling to new countries and finding nuggets of treasure on my way to add to my collection.  I was also surprised at the feelings of attachment I found I had to the project once I had made the journey a personal one, looking at my family environment and my own development into an adult.  I feel more prepared to explore my skills in textile art, rather than textile purely as a craft, now I have got to this point of the course.



Noren – Japanese door curtain


“Door curtain” might conjure up the image of one of those colourful plastic strip curtains hanging in the doorway to keep the flies out of the house during the summer.   Practical and lots of fun for children.  I am sure I remember being chided for pulling on the strips at a friend’s house.  You can still get these curtains on eBay!

plastic door curtain for sale on ebayBeaded door curtains are a decorative item typical of the 1970s and still available, especially in the “new age” gift shops in the nearby town of Glastonbury.  This version made of wooden and bamboo beads is for sale at Argos:

beaded door curtain

I am intrigued by the way you have a tantalising view of the room beyond with these door curtains.  There is a sense of mystery.  The barrier is representative rather than actual as the materials are insubstantial and the curtain moves as soon as it is touched.  They also make a sound in a breeze.  The plastic strips swish and the beads rattle, a bit like the sound of the wind in a bamboo hedge.

The Japanese hang Noren, a split door curtain, in their doorways to welcome guests.  Traditionally shops would hang them in the doorway as a protection against sun, wind and dust and they are used as an additional advertising space.  They indicate the shop is open and are taken down at the end of the working day.


Noren usually have one or more slits all the way from the bottom to nearly the top to allow for passage through the curtain.




I am thinking of using a form of this door curtain as a basis for my final piece but I would like to have more than one layer and use a more transparent fabric to allow forms to show through.  I am awaiting a consignment of voile fabric I ordered online yesterday to start experimenting with how colours and shapes might show through the layers.