Tait & Style
I first became aware of needlepunching in 1985, while attending a spinning course at Huddersfield Polytechnic. The machine I saw there was used to bond unspun wool to make felt fabric. The end result resembled crude handmade felt, which to my mind looked dated and uninspired. The needlepunching machines were generally used in industry for producing wadding and insulation materials, and were not well adapted for fashion use.
As soon as I saw the technique, however, I became convinced that it had real potential for fashion- fabric manufacture. I set myself the challenge of developing needlepunching as a new bonding/embroidery technique. I wanted to create modern fabrics which could be commercial at the same time as innovative, and continued to develop my ideas alongside my other student work.