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Textiles Designer Kit Jan Li

Kit Jan Li is a graduate of the Manchester School of Art, her degree show collection was ‘experimentally printed and embellished fashion fabrics which evolved from gestural mark making.’

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‘In my early years of education, I focused on garment construction and whilst working for a few years with a seamstress in a bridal store, I was drawn to embellishments and details on dresses; thus spurring my interests in fabric and surface design.

During my degree in Embroidery, at the Manchester School of Art, my work took a turning point as I discovered a passion for mark making. I found my own vocabulary of marks in my style of drawing that I was able to feed into new processes I had practised in print and embroidery. Observational drawing is now always a starting point to my designs; I interpret what I see into mixed media drawings which explore the depth of colour, line and pattern. I am influenced by abstract expressionism and designers such as Karen Nicol and Mary Katrantzou. My degree show was an eclectic collection of experimentally printed and embellished fashion fabrics that had evolved from my gestural mark making. I combined techniques of screen and digital print with Irish machine embroidery.’

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‘At the moment, I am working on a live project on the theme of floral and geometric patterns with the main technique being hand embroidery. Using my drawings of flowers for inspiration, I will experiment with a new approach of replicating my mark making with hand stitch. I think florals and geometrics are common patterns but because they are so commercial I believe it is important as a designer to add this body of work to my portfolio.’

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‘I am a Future Maker at the Manchester Craft & Design Centre, where I am exhibiting a collection of digitally printed silk scarves. I am honoured to have my work exhibited in a place that appreciates design and I can be inspired by the range of diverse work from all the artists in the centre. In the upcoming months, I hope to create further trend-inspired collections and to begin making other accessories so that I am developing my fabric designs into products.’

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