April 2019

From Intangible History to Creative Practice.

Engagement with the deep-sea trawlermen of Hull and their fashion design process 1950s to 1970s.

The daughter of a hull trawler man, brought up  in a  matriarchal household of talented weavers and stitchers  Claire gave us a fascinating talk about her own career and study exploring both aspects of her heritage.

The 1970s saw the demise of the deep sea trawling industry in Hull and with it a whole culture passed into history.

Clare spoke about her initial interest in weaving, her experimentation leading to innovation, working for some of the major textile companies. Her natural curiosity brought her full circle and her own father. The Hull trawlermen had a distinctive on shore style of dress. Claire spoke of the particular style of the suit having elements of a variety of influences. Her latest research is an attempt to discover the roots underlying this style. One theory is that it originated through popular Wild West cowboy outfits as depicted in films of the 1950s.

Claire showed us samples of her early design work and sketch books with ideas for adapting the decorative ‘cowboy’ jacket using fish and flower designs.

Another element Clare is following is looking at the actual dyeing process and its ecological effects. To this end she has been experimenting with a reduced number of dyes. The combining of threads during weaving produces different colours thus eliminating the need for potentially harmful and unnecessary dyes.

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