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Chantal Balmer Allen

Warped Textiles
Warped Textiles is owned by Chantal Balmer Allen, a creative Glasgow based designer who specializes in contemporary woven textiles.

After graduating in 2001 Chantal went on to work for The Glasgow School of Art within the Textile Department. In 2006 she took one years sabbatical leave to explore her fascination and intrigue of Jacquard woven structures and examined how current technologies were used, taught and produced in India. Whilst there she also designed and developed a large collection of jacquard woven, home furnishing fabrics for the European and America market.

Since returning Chantal has gained various awards and achievements, from winning the 2011 Honda’s ‘Made in Britain’ competition, to receiving a scholarship fund from the Trades House of Glasgow - Incorporation of Weavers, which helped her to buy a computerised weaving loom.

Owning her own computerized loom has allowed Chantal to develop and produce more sophisticated patterns & structures, which are not possible on more traditional looms. The software directs the computer loom determining which shaft(s) can be lifted based on the instructions it finds in the pattern it currently has open. This means that mistakes can easily be remedied and sampling different designs is quicker, easier and more fluent.

Having this resource speeds up the process of weaving dramatically, leading to more inovative and rigorously considered pieces.

Complex three dimensional weaves are what intrigues Chantal, the use of yarns that react; shrink, bend and alter the woven structure: Wool can be washed at high temperatures or hand felted to aggitate the fibres. Copper is also used in Chantal’s work as it can be oxidiside and shaped in three dimensions. She loves using innovative yarns within her work, the exploration of the unknown, how these fibers will react with the weave structures and how the finishing processes transformes them into new textural fabrics.

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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

After very many years of craft&design we've decided that we'd like to retire and so in 7 days we will close the craft&design website, including craft&design Online and the craft&design Selected Makers and Craft and Design Month websites. We've had a brilliant 35 years and would like to thank all our readers, advertisers, writers, contributors and website visitors for their support throughout that time. Our very best wishes to you all for the future - Angie and Paul.