Reflecting on materials (studio practice)

As my studio practice proceeds, I felt that I needed to rewrite my aims and objectives more clearly. I will not state them here again but I will just write down some thoughts of mine.
I have always been fascinated by rough fibers more than the smooth/soft ones. The reason is still not crystal clear but I strongly believe that it has something to do with emotions. In fact, I think that rough materials can express emotions and feelings in a stronger way compared to smooth and fluffy ones. When we touch a soft fabric we are just pleased with the tactile sensation and it is hard to focus on feelings other than pleasure itself. If we touch a woolen blanket for instance, we are overwhelmed with light thoughts about warmth, coziness, comfort and so on.
We are pleased with the material but nothing more.
This kind of experience is less durable than the type of feelings which arise from the touch of rough fabrics. That’s simply because the perception of rough materials is connected with memories. The haptic perception might not be pleasant and so our brain try to recollect moments when we experienced the same feeling and soon associate the feeling itself with different kind of situations and concepts. For example, if we come across a jute sack, we are suddenly tempted to think about labour, hard work, poverty, countryside, past and so on.

Negative experiences are stuck in our memory and we can clearly remember them while a lot of pleasant moments are soon forgotten.
For the same reason, unpleasant tactile sensations are more durable and loaded with other tacit knowledge.

I’m not trying to say that “rough” is synonym of “negative” as it is not. But I’m trying to understand why they give us more emotions than fabrics with a pleasant hand.

There is a trend that has been going on for a while now (since 2008) and it is called “Rough Luxe”. As written on their website, this group of people is trying to look at luxury in a different way; they try to present luxury as an experience in time an not only an ownership of something expensive [RoughLuxe, Accessed: 2 November 2015].

What they did in term of experiences, selling different kind of products, I want to apply to fashion accessories field using hand woven textiles. Here comes the haptic/tactile research as I want customers to “feel the luxury”.

Nello, M. (2015) Mind map from reflective journal.

Nello, M. (2015) Mind map from reflective journal.

Nello, M. (2015) Mind map from reflective journal.

References list:

Rough Luxe, RoughLuxe [Online] Available from: . [Accessed: 2 November 2015]


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