Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Maker Profile : Yardage Design

Nicole James from Yardage Design is a Melbourne based textile designer who provides us with a wonderful, bold range of hand screen printed fabrics. Maker Handmade carries Yardage Design tea towels, cushion covers, market bags and DIY bunting panels.

Who is the Maker behind Yardage Design?

Hello! I’m Nicole James, the owner and jack-of-all-trades behind Yardage Design. I am an environmental scientist by profession, who has been dabbling in creative pursuits since childhood. I have been screen printing for a few years now, and decided to start my own independent textile design and hand printing business just over a year ago. I’m loving the journey!

Tell us about the process of creating your products, from concept to finish?

My creative process usually starts with a need. I like to design and make things that suit my needs (as we renovate our 1890’s cottage) and colour palette. Design ideas come from lots of places - plants, architecture, books, magazines - whatever happens to be in my field of vision that catches my eye. The idea is sketched by hand and then refined on the computer before a screen is prepared. Colours are mixed and test prints taken. Lifting the screen to reveal a new design is the best feeling! The final step is packaging and preparing for sale.

What’s in the name? 

The name “Yardage Design” came from a simple circular design (now my logo) that was one of the first graphics I created when I was thinking about starting a textile business. The circle motif represents the end of a bolt of fabric, and that got me thinking about words associated with fabric. I settled on “yardage” because I like its vintage appeal and it was my goal to print fabric by the metre.

What do you make? 

I hand screen print my own designs onto a range of natural fibre (organic cotton, hemp, linen) fabric and homewares. My homewares range currently includes tea towels, market bags and cushions. I also have a range of fabrics that are used for interior decoration and dressmaking. Keep an eye out for new products and fabric designs in 2011!

What do you love about what you do? 

I love ...

~ turning an idea into something tangible and practical that other people can enjoy

~ being creative, with a purpose

~ being part of the amazing online craft community

~ lifting the screen and seeing a beautiful print ... it never gets boring!

~ working for myself and having much more time to spend with my family.

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