Leonie Edmead BA (Hons) Textiles in Practice

Leonie Edmead

My name is Leonie Edmead and I am a textile designer, specialising in weaving. Colour and patterns are integral to my work and I am constantly challenging myself as a weaver to find innovative ways to translate my inspirations into textiles.

My final major project is titled, 'Unravelling the Threads of Identity through Textiles' and explores what Caribbean culture means to me by interpreting my St Kitts heritage into textiles. The project is split into three separate collections and builds on the same theme of Caribbean culture. I experimented with a range of traditional weaving techniques and materials such as West Indian Sea Island Cotton, formerly grown in St Kitts.

The initial research for the project focused on colours and textures found in family archive imagery. The first collection, ‘Kittitian Tweeds’, explores tweed fabrics with a Caribbean influence and was woven on a 16-shaft table-top loom. The ‘Carnival’ collection is inspired by the vibrant energy of carnival culture and was woven on a 24-shaft floor loom. I drew inspirations from Ghanaian textiles to make cultural links between West Africa and the Caribbean. The final ‘Kittitian Jacquards’ collection is a body of figurative textiles woven with West Indian Sea Island Cotton on a TC1 jacquard. My paternal grandfather was a tailor, so I have reimagined some of his Caribbean tailoring with my fabrics to show the development of my fabrics in a cultural fashion context.

I was born and raised in the UK, yet my work is a melting pot of cultures and ideas. With my Caribbean heritage, and even deeper West African roots, I use weaving as a way of interlacing these cultures to produce fabrics that capture such a rich narrative.