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I have been excited to get making labels for the cycling collection.

Having collated a few ideas from existing examples of dressmaking labels (from original 1890s garments), a range of mastheads from publications (e.g. The Lady Cyclist) and advertising (corset manufacturers), to vignette shapes used in photographic bike portraits.



TLC oktis ad




clincher tyre

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TLC portraits vignettes

The wonderful, knowledgeable and very handy Grace Duprez at the Fabric Stitch Lab in the Goldsmiths Art department has been teaching me new technologies to make custom embroidery of our original victorian label designs and typefaces.

The first step is to scan some re-touched archival materials to trace designs from- I’ve chosen to work with. The Lady Cyclist masthead- I think- is the most attractive, leaves plenty of space to add different text and is the most relevant as a source of much of our archival materials have been found here, and the idea of an image based on the circulation of knowledge and shared experience in a group is key to the ideas of the project and its dissemination.TLC portraits vignettes

lady cyclist banner


label blank

Then I manually and laboriously traced each letter with either a satin stitch or double running stitch by plotting a series of points

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I tested some ready-made typefaces and templates similar to the portrait vignettes…

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…and tried victorian typography, with adjusted curbing, slightly hand-rendered without perfect alignment.

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The stitch size I am working on is under 1mm so needs to be ‘fattened out’ to allow the machine to understand it.

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Satin stitch gives a real embroidered feel and running stitch gives a crisp line drawing, and a combination works well.

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This works well, even with tiny stitches.

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After a quick trim of all the starting and stopping points, we have a fully backed set of test labels.

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