Exquisite floral-inspired textiles from Rosemary Rose...

Suddenly-It's-Spring-Rosemary-Rose I recently came across the beautiful floral-inspired textiles made by Zara Day of Rosemary Rose.

Zara studied printed textiles at Winchester School of Art over seventeen years ago and has been developing the techniques she uses over the last ten years in her teaching practice.  It’s only since April 2011 however that she’s been showing and selling her work.

Her aim is to produce pieces which look timeless and enrich the environment in which they are placed.


Faded Memories – Textile Pictures

The first four images in today’s post are from Zara’s ‘Faded Memories’ collection of textile pictures.

Initially inspired by photographs of peeling wallpaper, exposing layers of different patterns that could evoke a memory or lost past, she wanted to create pieces inspired by the layering of patterns, combined with personally significant images that symbolised certain periods of her life.

Zara uses lots of flowers in her pieces. Many that she’s used have appeared in arrangements given to her at certain significant times - from the first bunch of flowers that her husband gave her, to her wedding bouquet, flowers given to her at the birth of both her daughters, to the poppies she would pick from hedgerows for her mum and the flowers her own daughters now pick for her.

Whilst the scent of a flower can evoke a memory, so can their image.  Zara creates commissioned pieces that record these memories.  For example, wedding flower arrangements including poetry used in the ceremony or lyrics featured in the songs sung.


The process

The designs for her textile pictures originate from drawings and chalk pastel studies.

Working with fine liners and pencils, the marks she makes when interpreting floral images and symbolic feminine motifs are then translated using different types of stitched lines.

Extra detail and definition is then added with traditional hand embroidery stitches.

Lace is trapped between the layers of the felt fabric.  The natural fibres bond together as they are hand rolled using nuno felting techniques.

Patterns from different eras, floral arrangements and the occasional quote or lyric form a collage of images, applied using hand and digital printing, appliqué and needle felting techniques.

Recycled silk is appliquéd on to the felt, highlighting particular images and providing a contrast to the matt cotton thread.

Making these felted fabrics by hand and using a collage of techniques gives them an uneven shape and interesting surface decoration, so that they look like fragments of textiles, delicate and eroded by time.



Her collection of textile pictures has inspired a range of decorative cushions which display a harmonious alliance of hand-made felted fabrics, woollen blankets and natural fabrics, embellished with floral and lace designs.

All the designs use imagery from the textile pictures and the same techniques.



Zara is aiming to fill her home with only items she truly adores, shying away from the mass-produced, looking for individuality with items that are well-made, recycled or inherited, with the hope that her home, in time, will have a story to tell.

With that in mind, she's started to design beautiful hand-felted upholstered chairs.  She sources different styles of chairs from antique fairs which she then strips back to their frame before being restored and re-upholstered in her hand-rolled felted fabric, which is embellished using the same techniques as in the 'Faded Memories' textile pictures.

Each design is created specifically for the shape of the chair. Some have petals and flowers cascading down and laying on the seat, others have flowers growing over the chair or are formerly arranged.

She also creates bespoke designs for clients who want to bring a chair back to life that they have had from childhood or which has been passed down to them.


Next Fair

Zara will be showing a collection of her work including the pictures, chairs and cushions at The Contemporary Textile Fair, Landmark Arts Centre, Ferry Road, Teddington, and Middlesex, TW11 9NN from 9-11 March 2012.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing Zara's stunning designs today.  Do tune in next Tuesday for my first Christmas-themed post...

(Images : Rosemary Rose)