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Rachel's Melted Fabrics

Updated on July 27, 2014

Textiles and Purses by Melted Rachel

My name's Rachel. I'm a textiles artist from the UK.

I make wall hangings, bags and purses from layered, embroidered and melted textiles.

Rachel's Melted Fabrics is a website I started in 2003 for all my crafty exploits.

Find out more about me below including where to find Melted Fabrics on the web, my favourite textiles pieces, my newsletter and information about the tools and materials I use.

Who Are You?

A Little About Me

Who is Melted Rachel?

As well as making things I also love to write. I've written six textiles books based on my art work.

I've always been interested in art and writing but I didn't start experimenting with textiles until my GCSE years at school. I'm ashamed to admit that the only reason I took Textiles lessons in the first place was to avoid having to do French - not that I have anything against the language, I'm just not very good at it.

When I started textiles classes I realised that it could be used as another form of art and you could draw with fabrics and stitches. I think that was fourteen or fifteen years ago so I've been developing my skills for a while now.

At college I did a GNVQ in art and design. We did rotations of textiles, photography, 2D and 3D fine art and graphic design. I wasn't intent on pursuing textiles specifically but when I got round to doing the textiles rotation I realised I really enjoyed it and it was where my strengths lay.

I applied to do a costume degree at The Arts Institute at Bournemouth so that I could use my textile skills for costume and this is where I discovered a lot of the techniques I use now.

I live right in the middle of the countryside and think that encourages me to look at nature for inspiration.

I've been told a lot that my style is like Gustav Klimt and I find the highly patterned nature of his work very inspiring. I don't look at anyone's work specifically but I'm sure things I've seen have filtered through my sub-conscious whilst I'm creating.

As well as sewing and melting I love knitting and spinning and looking through all the patterns on Ravelry.

How Did You Start?

Where Did It All Start?

A brief Melted Fabrics history.

I first discovered the art of distressing fabrics with heat tools whilst I was studying Costume for the Screen and Stage at The Arts Institute at Bournemouth.

These are some of the very first melted samples I produced. They were small samples that I later used as "collage" for my final major project costume designs.

I made these layered textiles pieces and then applied little blobs of puff binder to the surface. I used the heat gun to warm the puff binder and make it rise up but accidentally melted through some of the textiles layers.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

What Do You Use?

Tools and Materials

I use these to create distresed textiles.

Sewing Machine

Hot air gun

Soldering Iron

Glue gun

Cheese grater

Assorted fabrics

Recycled fabrics

I love cheap and nasty fabrics - they're the ones that give the best results!

Wadding/batting

Organza and net

Yarn and threads

Beads and Sequins

Recycled Junk

Can I See Your Work?

My Favourites - A few of my favourite textiles pieces.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Above: Red Rabbit was inspired by a song by The Shins.Above: This is a detail of peacock feathers from a textiles piece.Above: Mother and Child features in my Foundling Book and is part of a series.Above: Autumn Art Quilt.
Above: Red Rabbit was inspired by a song by The Shins.
Above: Red Rabbit was inspired by a song by The Shins.
Above: This is a detail of peacock feathers from a textiles piece.
Above: This is a detail of peacock feathers from a textiles piece.
Above: Mother and Child features in my Foundling Book and is part of a series.
Above: Mother and Child features in my Foundling Book and is part of a series.
Above: Autumn Art Quilt.
Above: Autumn Art Quilt.

Melted Fabrics Slideshow - My first attempt at making a film.

What Does Your Bag Look Like?

My Bag - My Bag made from an Original Textiles Piece.

Textiles Bag by MeltedRachel
Textiles Bag by MeltedRachel

It was a while before I realised that perhaps I should make a bag for myself out of some of my textiles.

I've been using this bag for quite a few years now and it's still going strong. The layered textiles make for very strong fabrics - even if a lot of the materials I use are recycled.

Tell Me More About Your Techniques

Some of my Favourite Craft Books - These are some of the books from my shelves.

Share Your Thoughts - Reader Feedback.

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    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Absolutely terrific lens

    • RolandTumble profile image

      RolandTumble 8 years ago

      Lovely. Simply lovely.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      [in reply to RolandTumble] Thanks so much :D

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      [in reply to LizMac60] Thanks Lady who I have never met before ;)

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      This is beautiful! Love it so I've blessed this lens! :)

      Would like to ask you to join Fresh Squid group - it's featuring newcomers to Squidoo! :) Oh, yes - forgot: Welcome! ;)

      Only one thing: Could you enable 'contact me' button on your profile page?

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      [in reply to a_willow] Thanks so much :D

      I'd love to join.

      Thanks for letting me know about the contact thing on my profile- I didn't actually know it was there!

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      I'm happy you accepted invitation! :) Welcome to Fresh Squid group! Glad to have you aboard!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I'm pretty sure this is the lens my husband (BuffaloKid) mentioned to me today. He definitely mentioned "melted" and "fabric." VERY nice! I'm glad I found this.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      [in reply to Ramkitten] Thanks for stopping by! :D

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      This lens entered Fresh Squid Contest for May as one of featured lenses on Fresh Squid group in April! Come by and vote!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      [in reply to BevsPaper] Thanks for stopping by :D

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      Lovely designs! You've been blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      [in reply to KimGiancaterino] Thank you :D

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 8 years ago from Vermont

      So creative - stunning work.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      [in reply to Pastiche] Thank you :D

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      You are one of April 2009 graduates! Come by and answer few questions to show the way to those who will follow! Wish you many, many more great lenses!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      [in reply to a_willow] Thanks Michelle :D Working my way through them now!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 8 years ago

      What a wonderful lens with fantabulous pictures! I didn't remember how fabrics are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      [in reply to prosperity66] Thanks so much :D

    • squidom profile image

      squidom 8 years ago

      Such beautiful and inspiring work! And I totally love your Goddess bag! :)

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      [in reply to squidom] Thank you! :D

    • profile image

      2knights 8 years ago

      Lovely work, thanks Rachel.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      [in reply to 2knights] Thank you :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your work. I'm always on the lookout for new techniques and ideas to incorporate into my art. Five up!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for visiting! :D Sorry for the incredibly late reply!

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 7 years ago from Quezon City

      Gorgeous, gorgeous work, you are one incredibly talented lady, Rachel! *blessed by a passing angel*

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @poptastic: Thanks so much :D

    • Surreymagic profile image

      Surreymagic 7 years ago

      Fantastic lens of very creative work, thankyou also for leaving a comment on my duel lens. I have experimented with fused plastic bags a bit, creative recycling is a buzz.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @Surreymagic: It sure is! Thanks for visiting :)

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      Your work is beautiful!

      Your lens is, too.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @TreasuresBrenda: Thanks so much :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Rachel your designs are beautiful. The next time I produce a show, would you design some costumes for me ;) But I need to get it written first!!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you :D I'll be here waiting ;)

    • purplelady profile image

      purplelady 7 years ago

      What a great trip I have this morning visiting some of your many lenses and learning about you and your world of melted fabrics. I had no idea what one could do with just a pile of fabric scraps and some tools. Your artwork and your lenses about it are truly awesome.

      A thank you also for leaving comments on my pro vs. anti aging lens. I appreciated it not just for the comments but for introducing me to you and your beautiful lenses.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @purplelady: Thanks so much for visiting my lenses and leaving lovely comments!

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      What a lot of lovely things you make. I like the borage in your photo too!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @Grasmere Sue: Thanks :D

    • desilegend profile image

      desilegend 7 years ago

      You are definitely very gifted! Love your designs!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @desilegend: Thank you! And thanks so much for visiting :D

    • LadyelenaUK profile image

      LadyelenaUK 7 years ago

      You are very gifted Rachel. I absolutely love your work - very unique.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @LadyelenaUK: Thank you :D

    • grolich profile image

      grolich 7 years ago

      Always nice to see talent, hard work and love all go into the same thing:)

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @grolich: Wow! Thank you :D

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 7 years ago

      You do wonderful work. I love the varied textures and patterns!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @RuthCoffee: Thanks so much :D

    • CafeLove profile image

      CafeLove 7 years ago

      Hi! Thanks so much for your comment on my book lens.

      I LOVE your textile work. It's all so beautiful!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @CafeLove: You're welcome! Thanks so much for visiting!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Wow, These designs are magnificent. Such talent and great lens. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust/Crafts

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Your textiles are beautiful!!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you :D

    • SacredCynWear profile image

      SacredCynWear 6 years ago

      wow. I love your artwork, it hsas such a Renaissance feel to it.. almost looks like stained glass. I love how you were able to convey that with fabric! Beautiful! I've lens rolled it to my scan fabric lens! Great job!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @SacredCynWear: Thanks so much :D

    • Ann-Marie LM profile image

      Ann-Marie LM 6 years ago

      Thanks for a truly inspirational lens! Lensrolled on my Cross Stitch Samplers lens.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @Ann-Marie LM: Thank you :D

    • michelleart profile image

      Michelle Collins 6 years ago from Florida

      Beautiful!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @michelleart: Thank you :D

    • EditPhotos profile image

      Edit Photos 6 years ago from Earth

      Great Lens! As I type megasnug below - I leave you a Squidoo Angel Blessing.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @EditPhotos: Thank you so much! Am now planning on signing all letters and e-mails with "megasnug" at the end ;)

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      This is a beautiful lensography. I'm adding my blessing and will feature this on my SquidAngel At Your Service lens.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @joanhall: Thank you so much :D

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 6 years ago from Scotland

      Your work is fantastic! I just love that bag!

    • Health-Gal profile image

      Health-Gal 6 years ago

      wow, what great art work!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @Health-Gal: Thanks :D

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @LisaAuch1: Thanks so much :D

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 6 years ago from USA

      Blessed by a SquidAngel for lovely layout, humor, talent, and all around awesomeness.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @JJNW: Thank you so much :D

    • profile image

      KavitaKriti 6 years ago

      WOW! Absolutely stunning pieces... I had no idea you could even melt fabric.. Wow... fabulous lens.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @KavitaKriti: Thanks so much :D

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      I especially love the Archangel Micheal

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 6 years ago

      Very beautiful artwork. The woman on the bag makes an impression on me. You have a gift and you use it to bless others.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @MargoPArrowsmith: Thanks! :D

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @ideadesigns: Thank you :D Thanks for visiting.

    • Rita-K profile image

      Rita-K 6 years ago

      Wonderful artistry! Your colors and designs are divine! Beautiful informative lens, I am looking forward to reading more!

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 6 years ago

      I loved everything, but favored the Mother & Child. Your use of colors is amazing.

    • Coffeebreak9am profile image

      Coffeebreak9am 6 years ago

      Enjoyed seeing your talent. I was not familiar with melted fabric, but the look is great. Thank you.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @Rita-K: Thank you :D

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @sheriangell: Thanbks so much :D

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @Coffeebreak9am: Thank you :D

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 6 years ago

      Found the link here at one of your mom's lenses. This is really cool... and a new concept to me. Think I'll explore a little further. Thanks!

    • SelfAndSource profile image

      SelfAndSource 6 years ago

      Wow! I never heard of this technique before...melted fabric...until my friend Barbara Casey, see below, sent me your link. I will be investigating. Thanks!

    • SelfAndSource profile image

      SelfAndSource 6 years ago

      Wow! I never heard of this technique before...melted fabric...until my friend Barbara Casey, see below, sent me your link. I will be investigating. Thanks!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @BarbaraCasey: Thank you for visiting :D

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @SelfAndSource: Thanks for visiting :D

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 6 years ago from Liverpool, England

      My partner has just told me to like and comment on this lens :) (She's into embroidery and knitting.)

      Very good lens -- new and useful info

    • MyCrazyAdventures profile image

      Melissa 6 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

      Hi - I just included a link to your "MeltedFabrics " lens on http://www.squidoo.com/where-to-buy-art-on-squidoo

      Happy art-making!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is very unique, artistic and impressive work. Hope all is well Rachel. Wishing you a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year! **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @Paul Ward: Thank you (and your partner) for visiting :D

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @MyCrazyAdventures: Thanks for visiting :D

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @ajgodinho: Thanks so much AJ! I hope you had a great new year too! :D Congrats on being an angel!

    • BrickHouseFabrics profile image

      BrickHouseFabrics 6 years ago

      Really wonderful things! Thumbs up, and lensrolled!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @BrickHouseFabrics: Thanks you :D

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 6 years ago from Chicago area

      Love your work! How cool. Warm congrats on your wedding, too (saw the note on the forum!). Health & happiness always.

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 6 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Really great lens. I have studied textile too, but that was about 45 years ago. Beautiful study, but at that time still very technical. Short after I finished, they changed everything, letting people more free in their expression. Love your style.

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @verymary: Thank you so much :D

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @Titia: Thanks so much :D If it was technical I think I would have found it hard to get into.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very interesting information you have exposed me to. "Textile Artists" is new to me.

      Did some research and found this site: http://www.surrealartists.org/ Ever been there?

      You might like it. Another one is http://www.textileartists.org/ Very fascinating. I could spend all day looking.

      From what you have shown us in the lens, you have an incredible talent!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks so much :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! You are an amazing textile artist and what a treat to walk through your gallery of designs. I guess Squidoo must think so too because my security word says it well, "remarkable".

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you so much :D

    • CHalloran LM profile image

      CHalloran LM 6 years ago

      truly amazing! wow

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @CHalloran LM: Thanks so much for visiting :D

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Wow! Your fabrics, shirts, bag and designs are just stunningly gorgeous!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      wow. amazing textile designs. beautiful presentation

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 6 years ago

      Beautiful and well presented.

    • robinrags profile image

      robinrags 6 years ago

      Awesome lens Rachel ... thanks!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Never seen anything quite like this before! Awesome!

    • BlueStarling profile image

      BlueStarling 5 years ago

      Beautiful work! I had never heard of "melted fabrics." What a great way to recycle fabrics and save them from the landfill.

    • Millionairemomma profile image

      Millionairemomma 5 years ago

      Gorgeous artwork

    • profile image

      DDLewis 4 years ago

      Love your work!! This is something I have not tried, but am now thinking of many new possibilities!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I think you do awesome work. You have inspired me to get the camera out and show off my firestones (basically, rocks with wicks). Just fill em up and lite em up!

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