Wiktoria Nowak is a freelance textile designer from Poland, Łódź.
How did you get into textiles?
When I was in high school I wanted to study animation at a film school in Łódź but I didn’t pass the exams. I was really determined to stay in the city and study something else. A year later I chose a random art based course and ended up at the Faculty of Textile Design. The Faculty is where I totally fell in love with textiles. Studying and failing my exams earlier on was the best thing that happened because I found textiles and met my fiancé an animator and cartoonist!
What type of techniques do you use to create your textiles?
I use many types; I design jacquard fabric, prints, embroideries and embellishments. Sometimes I hand weave and dye yarn by myself too.
What are your favourite types of textiles to create and why?
I’m a big fan of jacquards; I think it’s a very magical process! I like how it changes under the influence of weaves, different yarns or density. If you make a mistake, you can always fix it quickly. If you want to add another colour, you simply change yarn and there is it. Because the weaving process is so fast you can see the effects immediately.
What’s your process when starting a new piece of work?
I always look for inspiration first and think a lot about how to use it in a project. I then sketch, draw, paint ideas and add finishing touches on Photoshop and begin to weave, print and embroider. When it comes to embellishments and tapestries I often work spontaneously.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
A lot of Polish traditions and craftsmanship; I always try to refer to it somehow in my projects. Very often an idea comes to mind after seeing or touching material that interests me. Lately I’ve fallen in love with transparent and semi-transparent materials such as Plexiglas and plastic yarns. I think I’ll be using them more in future projects. Another strong inspiration is flora and fauna. I love plants and animals that aren’t so well-known. The world of nature gives me an infinite source of patterns and structures.
Where do you normally buy your materials from?
I always try to get materials from local suppliers or from recycling. I buy yarn in my city from a manufacturer of carpets. They have a lot of leftovers and they’re always happy to get rid of some.
Besides fashion how would you like to apply your textiles?
I’m very interested in applying unique textiles in interior design. I find it very satisfying seeing how people interact with my projects and how textiles influences the quality of a person’s life.
What do you love most about textiles?
I love the slowness of it all. I especially like manual techniques that require a lot of work and time, I find the process rewarding. I also find it really relaxing and pleasant.
What books would you recommend for lovers of textiles?
Textile Visionaries: Innovation and Sustainability in Textile Design by Bradley Quinn. Fashioning Fabrics: Contemporary Textiles in Fashion by Sandy Black and Elyssa Cruz and Techno Textiles Revolutionary Fabrics for Fashion and Design by Sarah E. Braddock and Marie O’Mahony.