I have a hankie obsession, it’s actually just an extension of my fabric and vintage obsessions to be honest, but these interests have combined to form a lovely interesting sideline obsession. Harmless really, after all, hankies are super useful. I have some special vintage hankies which are never to be used because they are just too darn pretty. Then I have a general collection of modern hankies which vary from the weird and wonderful kawaii hankies my husband brought me back from South Korea, to the lovely Cath Kidston ones I’ve collected over the years. Then I have my own hankies, these are either tester hankies I made before I started a new print run, or seconds which I didn’t feel we’re quite perfect enough to sell. Needless to say, I have around 50 everyday hankies, some people find that a little excessive but I say you can never have enough.
It’s been about a year since I stopped making hankies, I phased them out along with a few of my other finished products as I concentrated on my fabric. I get asked about them a lot though and they were one of my most popular items at fairs. I had an idea some time ago though, to create a few experimental hankies to hang as little works of art on my studio wall. This idea came from the fact that as a fabric screen printer, I don’t get as much chance to experiment with off off pieces as I used to in the early days and I miss that. So this idea has been swimming around in my head for a while and I decided it was about time to do something about it. Also I’m getting ready to submit my yearly product list suggestion to Christmas Crackers and really wanted to include hankies this year so what better time to start?
With that in mind, this has turned into a two prong project, firstly to create some lovely one off hankies, maybe one or two a month, using a combination of screen printing techniques as well as some block printing and embroidery. I’m going to pick a few different themes to base the designs around, who knows, after a few months I might even have enough to create an exhibition of them all. Secondly, I’m going to use the research I’ve done already for this project to create a spin off range of items to submit for Christmas Crackers, again based on similar themes. These will probably just be a printed range though, not embroidered, and if I don’t get accepted this year to that exhibition, I can put them up for sale in my Etsy shop instead and maybe add an option for a hand embroidered monogram for a really personalised gift.
The first one off design will be influenced by my longing to be by the sea, unfortunately I don’t think we’ll be able to go on holiday this year so this will be as close as I’ll get. I’m going to base it on the new waves print I’ve been working on for my first fabric by the metre collection. Those of you following my Crowdfunder bid will know that I announced this new design very recently. Ive already sourced the fabric (organic cotton of course) and have done a test print this afternoon for the wash test. Tomorrow I’m starting the Lino cut version of the waves print for the hankie so you’ll be able to see what the new design will look like very soon. I’m really excited about this project, I can’t wait to start the first one, and I already have lots of ideas for the future.