Flo Spurling – BA Textile Design, Chelsea graduate
Flo Spurling – BA Textile Design, Chelsea graduate


My name is Flo Spurling, and I graduated in
2011 from Chelsea College of Art in Textile Design where I specialized in knitted textiles,
and I’m now completing an MA at the Royal College of Art, where I’m also studying knitted textiles. I’ve always been interested in making things,
and in textiles in particular. I’ve always loved clothes and exciting embellishment and things
that really sort of catch your eye. I think Chelsea is just really unique in it’s
location, it’s literally across the road from the Tate Britain. I think the facilities
are really great, you’re not crammed in, you’ve got a big wall to put up all your
own inspiration and I just think the course is really well organized, the tutors are really
dedicated and the projects are really well thought out. So this was for one of the garments that I
made for the final collection. So this has been knitted on a domestic knitting machine,
and it’s a mixture of striping with different yarns, a punch card to film a textured stitch
with hand stitching and beading over the top of it and then also a weaving in technique
which was done by hand, and then was cut to form a kind of float and fringe look. We have a final show which was on for about
a week. I also got a model and took proper photos in the photographic studio of the college,
so I had all professional, high resolution photographs of all the garments, and then
they were hung in a kind of exhibition setting, and the show is on for about a week, which
is a really good time fore visitors and industry to come and see it. When I first tried knitting I sort of found
it really difficult, and it was then that I decided that I wanted to pick that as a
specialism to sort of really challenge myself. So not being able to do any of those skills
to graduating to make knitted garments was an achievement I imagined I would have done. When I was in the final year, we had an industry
contact come in, and Anthropologie selected me to do some samples which would be created
into sweaters, which would be sold in shops in America and in the UK. It was a really
good experience and really good to think sort of more commercially as well. When you’re studying and when you’re being
as creative as possible, you kind of push things to the extreme and make things bigger
than they should be and kind of go overboard with embellishment and the whole aesthetic
to give it the kind of wow factor. But then I think little elements can be filtered down
and that’s kind of like how the commercial aspect can be pushed. I think anything can
be distilled into a more commercial product.

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