Redmore, Nicola (2014) Open to change: Embracing nature and the fragility of design. An investigation into outdoor seating materials through the practice of leno weaving. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The research documented in this thesis investigates the potential of leno woven fabrics to be developed for outdoor seating use, and to understand the influence that hand-­‐weaving of these fabrics has on the design process for the commercial textile designer. It investigates the potential of hand woven leno fabrics to be aesthetically pleasing and yet meet the physical requirements for a seating material exposed to the external climatic conditions.
Themes of, material change over time and fabrics that blend into the landscape are explored through a series of samples produced on a handloom using a range of manmade and natural fibres. Contemporary weave practitioners, artists, product designers and an analysis of the current uses of leno fabrics has informed and guided the direction of this research.

The hand weaving of doup-­‐controlled leno fabrics employing a mix of monofilament and wool yarns has resulted in the creation a range of dynamic, stable and open net-­‐likeructures that could be suspended within a seating frame. It has been demonstrated that this method of fabric production is capable of producing strong yet flexible substrates whose design successfully reflects the beauty in colour and forms found within the landscape.

Reflection on the relationship between the handcraft of weaving, and the decision-­‐making process and knowledge of the textile designer has been recorded. The resulting knowledge of the design process and the insight into the mechanics of leno weaving on a table loom, are to be built into a programme of undergraduate workshop and weave theory lectures.

This research has grown out of an interest in the slow decay of abandoned textiles in the landscape and forms a starting point for the exploration of how climatic conditions might affect the physical and visual appearance of a fabric used outdoors.

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