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Rachel's Melted Fabrics
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.
What Do You Use?
Tools and Materials
I use these to create distresed textiles.
Hot air gun
I love cheap and nasty fabrics - they're the ones that give the best results!
Organza and net
Yarn and threads
Beads and Sequins
Can I See Your Work?
My Favourites - A few of my favourite textiles pieces.Click thumbnail to view full-size
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.
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.