I have worked out my costings for my products if I were to sell them today. It has to be remembered that I would sell the products for less if they were to go into a mass production as there would be a difference in buying materials and working time for mass production. Although I learnt from one of the professional practice lectures that RRP would be 2.5-3 x the whole sale price I decided that the final price would be ridiculous for the products I am selling and that in the first couple years I would not be expecting to make a large profit initially so have only done 0.5 X the whole sale price for these figures.
|Product||Cost Price||Whole Sale||RRP||Competitors Price Range|
|Sets of 2 = £12.00|
|Splashbacks||£50||£100||£125.00||£100.00 (60cmx75cm personalised image)|
|sets of 4 range between £18-24|
I feel that now at the end of the degree show, reflecting on the last three years and particularly the most recent of the three, I have grown so much as a textile designer. I am far more confident in myself as a designer and my own decision making with placements, colours and overall designs.
The exhibition project has been incredible, even though it is the most stressful thing I have ever done, it is also one of the most rewarding. The idea of finishing my degree in a very short amount of time is both terrifying and exhilarating. I am now a textile designer, not just a textile student. It is a scary point in my life with a lot of changes but I am very excited for the future.
Looking back on this year and what I have learnt demonstrates to me how useful the last couple of years have been. The subject project where we were set a brief from International Greetings made this whole finalizing year even more real. To work with a well-established company in the industry was really eye opening. I definitely think the working ethic which I established from that project has been instilled in me and has helped me work even harder this project. I am actually surprised by myself in how much work and time I have truly spent on the final couple of weeks in my exhibition project. The almost sleepless nights and very early mornings has proven to myself that when I put my mind to something I can achieve it. I honestly didn’t think I personally had it in me to work that hard but now I know it is possible, even on only 5 hours of sleep.
I think the International Greetings project partly inspired my hand stitch experimentation in the exhibition project which ended up being a core part of the final designs. I have taken the basic hand stitching, with some extra more complex stitches, to add detail and shape to my fabric painted fruit and vegetables. I think this has been very effective and works overall with the rest of the collection. I have combined the hand embroidered samples together using photoshop after scanning the samples using a high resolution. This enabled the thread to be crisp and clear and the fabric paint to still have the brush strokes visible. I wanted to create a rustic, vintage look with the samples which I think I have achieved. I have tried digital stitch which I then also fabric painted within but I decided that although this was effective when creating the straight lines it didn’t have much character. I thought about using screen printing and went to speak to Steve. However, we decided that since I didn’t have a clear idea of how I wanted to take my designs into screen printing that for now I should just concentrate on spending my time developing my other ideas. If I felt like a design later down the line would have been effective transferred into screen printing then I could give it a go however, this never actually occurred. I think this is because I didn’t want to mix too many methods in my collection as the hand stitched samples were really the main focus. Looking back now at my overall collection and the creation of my digitally drawn utensils, screen printing could have been quite effective for these designs. Yet I wanted the digital element to come through my designs and not just be digitally printed.
I have also experimented with some natural dyes, using vegetables and flavoured tea. This was quite an interesting experience as since the quantity of dyestuff was quite a small amount and I needed to test them out first to see the effects, I had to do it at home. My kitchen was rather well steamed by the time I had finished the experiments. So then I chose the most effective dyestuff to do larger pieces of fabric but I didn’t make a massive change to some of the quantities of dyestuff since it is quite an expensive technique. I was really impressed by the colours which were produced and found it even more effective once I had scanned in the samples on a high dpi setting too. These blown up sections of my dyed fabrics has been very positive once used as the background since it both adds a beautiful colour tone and texture. In my final collection some of the background texture is clearer than others but I think that could be due to not having a specific measurement of the area I blew up and placed behind the design. I think if I was to do this again I would try to create more continuity by keeping to exact measurements and not altering the tone digitally at all. This experimentation has made me more aware of dyeing and I have learnt quite a lot from the experience. I think I may try to dye more in the future but be a lot more regimental in quantities of fabric, dyestuff and timing of the process.
Another area in which I think I have really learnt a lot more is in the making processes of prototypes and then final products. In my exhibition I have made all the products except for the mugs and placemats. The tea towel taught how to professionally hem, the oven gloves, which at first I was rather daunted at did not seem as complicated as expected, was a first for me since I have also never used binding before. The cushions were a first too since I have made the typical square shaped cushions but never circle which included using piping, something I have not had a lot of practice with, and self-covered buttons. I think this product works especially well as the piping and button are both in the same fabric which I ordered to be printed which is also used in some of my other designs as the background. Finally, the tea cosy was a bit of a last minute make since my exhibition needed something else to finish it off. The tea cosy was not as challenging but I didn’t have time to insert a loop on the top sadly.
My final overall collection and exhibition has made the whole stressful process worth it. Not only has it made me more confident in my ability to create a collection of designs but also proven to myself that I can keep going and achieve something which at some points felt unachievable.
I am really happy with my final display. I had it all set up pretty much Tuesday this week but then I spoke with the tutors yesterday and they recommended a couple of changes. I have moved the shelf down a couple of inches so that there is not such a large gap between the mugs and the splash back. I have also moved one of the frames which will hold my CADs so that it is below one of the others and makes them more of an area together. I thought about keeping both chairs even though it was suggested yesterday to remove one. I think looking at the display below it was for the better that I did remove one as the only reason I was wanting to keep both is due to the time I spent making both cushions. However, I do understand why the tutors suggested removing one since it would have been too cluttered and the second chair would not have actually added anything extra since the cushions are the same design. I also made a tea cosy to place on the table yesterday evening as it was brought up about the possibility of more products. Since I only had under 24 hours until the deadline I would not have been able to get anymore mugs or fabrics printed to make these type of extra products. However I did have a small amount of spare fabric from when I made the oven gloves. Therefore the tea cosy has tied in well with the oven gloves hanging on the oven rail since it was made out of the same designs.
Keireine did pick up on the modern looking cooker and splash back and explained that she didn’t really understand the combination of these with the rustic and dated table and chair. However, as I then explained to her that I chose to combine these since my target market, aged between 25-35 want the best of the modern technologies available as well as the rustic country home feel. As well as this up cycling is a major current trend in todays interior designs for homes so using a table and chairs which may not have been brand new and therefore reused is currently quite a trend. I believe my target market also want their homes to have character for a reasonable price so using a set of table and chairs from say IKEA would not have been fitting for my target market and the overall feel I want to portray.
I don’t think I could have had a much more willing and helpful buddy looking back on the last two weeks. Chloe has been really helpful in both the painting and clearing stage of the first week in the studio to the little fiddly time consuming things with my samples. There was no attitude or complaining about things I asked her to do which made the whole process a lot easier. I think even though we were in their position last year it did feel a bit strange at the beginning getting her to do things for me but as she said she was there to help me and anyone else so I soon didn’t feel weird finding things for her to do.
I hope it has helped Chloe too to understand what is needed in the final couple of weeks of the run up to deadline. I know it helped me last year as it made me aware of how it all worked. She was really sweet when she brought in a stitch book which had instructions and templates of how to make certain products such as the oven gloves which shows how willing she was to help me and the rest of the cohort. Even when I didn’t have anything for her to do for me she would go and find out if anyone else needed any assistance which I think is also a crucial part of the buddy system because although we are allocated someone in particular they are there at the end of the day to help everyone. The last two weeks is a group effort so it was great to see how useful she wanted to be.
Overall I am very grateful for Chloe’s help and I hope she is now well prepared in what is expected for when the time comes for her to do her final project.
I have made a couple of changes to my mood boards as suggested in my feedback from the interim critique. Looking back at my original mood boards I understand why it was suggested to change the background, in particular, of the mood boards. Initially I wanted to portray the rustic feel by having a bold contrasting colour as the background to set off the imagery and vocabulary used on the boards. However I do see that they had a messy quality about them which didn’t work well. Instead I kept to a clean white background so that the imagery used is clear and the there are no distractions from what I am trying to suggest and show via my boards.
Today I found out which space I would have for my exhibition and I was pleasantly surprised. I know I had proposed to an display for quite a vast space due to wanting a table and chairs to create the idea of the dining area as well as have a 2D cooker with splash back to create the idea of where the heart of the home is today. So to fit this all in without the exhibition feeling too busy and overly packed I would need a relatively larger space than some others. I think the tutors recognised this and have thoughtfully created the whole exhibition with what people’s project themes are in mind. The corner that I am in really feels like you could be walking into a show room for a home in terms of my space which is representing a collection based for kitchen and open plan living, then Elisha opposite me who is designing for bedroom interiors I believe and then Emily just to the side of her who is designing for living room interiors. I hope our work will work well together.
If I’m honest I was at first also apprehensive about my space in terms of the light. I was concerned it would be quite dark compared to other areas of the studio but once I had stood back and looked at the proposed place in person I am no longer concerned about the area being too dark or overshadowed at all.
The last couple of days have been pretty hectic to say the least. I have finally sent off my collection of designs to be printed so they should arrive the beginning of next week which is very exciting. I now plan on working on my CADS and getting my Press Packs organised. I want to try and demonstrate every design I have created in at least one of the products it could be used for if possible.