Contemporary textile artist Rachel John is designer, maker and inventor of the extraordinary Extreme Textiles tools and techniques.
During 5 years of research and development (2000—2005) Rachel re-invented textiles by changing the way yarn is used. She discovered that by mixing anything from 5 to 1000 strands of yarn together and, with her redesigned tools for the very thick yarn and extra wide pieces, you can easily and rapidly create stunning textiles for use at home, as gifts and as apparel. For instance hand knit a king size throw in just 2 days or an inch thick carpet rug in 6 hours.
Rachel - who regularly appears on Ideal World’s Create and Craft TV - demonstrates and teaches her unique and innovative techniques such as Extreme Knitting, Extreme Crochet, Extreme Tunisian Crochet, Extreme Weaving, Extreme X-Stitch and Extreme Tapestry. To date Rachel’s main focus has been on the home furnishings side of Extreme Textiles using mainly Extreme Knitting, Extreme Crochet and Extreme Tunisian Crochet.
Rachel’s work is inspiring thousands of designers and home crafters around the world. An exciting new development is the research into industrial waste handling machines. Rachel’s work is much published and in 2009/2010 she entered the history books in The Culture of Knitting by Jo Turney and The Greatest Knits of All Time by Lela Nargi.
For this type of crafting you do not need special yarns – you can use any yarn that you find - odd balls, left overs, ripped fabric, rope, anything. If you have a stash of yarn in your cupboard you can use it up and create something beautiful in the process. Pieces made by this method can last for many generations and have the potential to become much loved family heirlooms.
Rachel hand-manufactures all Extreme Textiles tools in her Bristol based workshop with her daughter Carmen John.
Having these new tools once again changes the world of textiles bringing new and innovative ways of working with all stranded fibres.
Rachel’s designs open up how you work fibre, creating new ways of manipulating and embellishing materials into fine, funky and very useful cloth. Designs include ideas for making garments in a completely different way to the norm producing extraordinary and practical items for day, evening wear and costume.
Designs also show how to apply Extreme Textiles with quick to make garments such as Extreme Textiles socks, jackets, jumpers and cardigans.
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