Charlotte Blazier

Tactile Bliss

Charlotte Blazier is a final year Textile Design student. Her sensory and mindfulness based project aims to evoke comfort to those who need it, including her grandad, who recently had a stroke.

Textile Design - BA (Hons)

Give us a brief overview of your project

This project aims to create a sense of comfort through tactile, sensory textiles inspired by Mother Nature as a comforting figure, being reliable, adaptable and abundant, and research through design techniques. The work has the potential to evoke feelings of mindfulness and wellbeing which can be obtained by engaging with the tactile and interactive qualities of the textile outcomes. The textiles are inclusive for everyone to benefit from and relevant to the contemporary craft and culture sector. Curious about how combining textile techniques can create interesting and comforting textures and enhance wellbeing, I have experienced both the impact the making process has on the designer and the textures produced in the final outcomes.

Why did you choose this concept?

I have a passion for helping others through the textiles I make and enjoy working with slow textile techniques and sustainable or natural materials to add warmth of the human touch.

What processes have you been using?

I used many variations of crochet stitches, but the mains ones I used were popcorn, double, treble, loop, puff and chain. For weaving I use plain weave and used a corduroy lifting plan. I chose these stitches because I had fallen in love with the technique of crochet and through creating initial textile samples using crochet stitches, I was able to conduct observational videos.

This process of research through design helped me to pick the correct stitches and compositions in order to design inclusively for different age groups and abilities. I also wanted to incorporate crochet into weaving, and through creating crochet strips I was able to essentially weave with crochet. After experimenting with lifting patterns, a corduroy lifting pattern created loops which have proved to create interesting surface textures as well as tactile, interactive qualities.

What do you hope to achieve with your project?

This project has the potential to positively impact people’s wellbeing and be a tool for mindfulness and relaxation. The resulting textiles are designed to be inclusive to any user who feels they would benefit positively from engaging with the tactile qualities of the textile outcomes. It could appeal to users with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s, dementia or brain damage. The handling of these textiles could evoke feelings of relaxation, relief, comfort and wellbeing.

How has your course helped you to prepare for working on your project?

The work placement module in second year was the starting point for preparing for my final project. Working in a community craft setting made me realise my passion for creating textiles with a meaning and being able to help others through this. I based my dissertation around the importance of craft and creativity for wellbeing in today’s society and the future, which was a catalyst for the following project. This project allowed me to experiment with techniques and concepts for my final professional project. Since finishing this, in the next project ‘next steps’ I will have the opportunity to expand any work I have already created and prepare personal promotional material.