Sensorial Study on Clothing & Bodies

Antiuniversity Festival Event

Bonjour, Bel Bonjou!!

Sunday 11th June 2017 –  Beautiful weather, good news (more to come on the subject later this month) and new discoveries.

New discoveries in the form of a sensorial textile workshop.

It’s my approach to style that drove me to attend this workshop:  start with the fabric, what it evokes to me and create from this perspective. My Fashion show, Textile and Senses in October 2016 was based on my very early thoughts on the subject.

It is a sustainable approach. Fabrics are bought for a reason, as opposed to accumulated over the years in anticipation of what I could make, some day.

Held by Renata Minoldo, a Visual and Textile Artist, the workshop was a chance to refocus, rediscover and explore that first layer of protection against our bodies: fabric. How it feels, makes us feel and how to  interpret and create.


Our senses are constantly bombarded with information and we often skip the true feeling they trigger.

10 mins of relaxation helped us to settle the body and mind and focus in order to be more perceptive.

Yoko Ono – “Grapefruit”

I knew who Yoko Ono was but I had no idea of her work. It’s beautiful!

We read a few quotes of her book, “Grapefruit”. They’re poetic, imaginative, creative, encourage our senses.

I highly recommend “Grapefruit” as a morning read. Keep it by your bedside cabinet and read a few pages as you’re waking up. That what I do with quotes on creativity.

Feeling it

This was my favorite exercise! Feel a fabric while being blind folded.

We each felt about 4 fabrics, in turn, prompted with 4 questions as a base:

  • How does this fabric makes you feel?
  • What colour do you think it is?
  • Does this fabric reminds you of any childhood moments or memories?
  • What would you make with it?

Asking questions became more spontaneous depending on the responses we got.

The feelings and results were incredible. The ooh and aah on first touch were funny and touching.

I was particularly blown away with how I guess 2 out of 4 colours. Specially where I hated one jersey fabric and correctly guessed that it was black! It confirmed that  my feelings and creativity are aligned. I do not like black!

Clothing design based on feelings

We then translated the information collected in relaxation, body mapping and textile perception to create a textile and/or a piece of clothing. The objective was for us to have a liberating creative thought process and match the textile to the body .

Results ranged from eye wear, shoulder pad, head gear with mix and match of textures

These exercises are a great way to reconnect the body to what envelops it, protects it and represents us: textile.

I have, like everyone else, a stash of fabrics but I do buy less these days – because I am space restrained and because it does create more waste overtime when you buy without knowing what you want to make. So far, in the last 2 months I have made choices I am very proud of and genuinely connected to and the relationship with my garments is 10 times stronger.

Here are my top 5 tips:

  • Don’t rush your fabric shopping session
  • Close your eyes on first touch
  • Feel the fabric on your arms too and with any other body parts possibly appropriate and practical
  • Ask yourself how this fabric makes you feel
  • Where on your body would it look better on you, and why?

Renata  will be holding the workshop again in London at some point but her next session is in Amsterdam in the autumn.

I’d love to know which type of fabric gets your senses going and why?

Photos: Renata Minoldo except 1, 2, 3, 6


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× Comment puis-je t'aider ?