Specialty Fabrics Review May 2019 - 19

A coral reef, upcycled

T

extile artist Vanessa Barragão grew up in the seaside town of Albufeira, Portugal.
As a designer she expresses her love of the ocean in the stunning art installation,
Coral Garden.
Barragão is concerned with the polluting effects of the textile industry on the
environment-particularly on delicate coral reefs. The energy used in mass textile
production and the large amount of waste produced has harmful effects across the natural
world. It is particularly detrimental to the oceans, which absorb 90 percent of atmospheric
pollution. As coral reefs, living and complex natural organisms, are irrevocably destroyed,
numerous marine species that live within their habitat are at risk.
Coral Garden was created using upcycling methods to demonstrate what can be
achieved by cleaning and reusing materials that would have been marked for waste or
recycling. The materials came from the deadstock of an artisanal rug factory in Beiriz,
Portugal. Barragão created the tapestry using ancestral and handmade techniques
including latch hook, hand-tuft, embroidery, felt and crochet.
The elaborate artwork features a textured motif of coral in hues ranging from deep
jewel tones to shades of brown, taupe and white, signifying what happens to coral when
the oceans warm, causing coral to expel living algae. The result is mass bleaching, a
consequence that is endangering coral reefs worldwide, including the Great Barrier Reef.
For more information, visit www.vanessabarragao.com.

A mix of upcycled wool, cotton and lyocell,
Coral Garden is a call to action to the textile
industry to use more sustainable practices.
Photos: Vanessa Barragão.

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Specialty Fabrics Review May 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review May 2019

Specialty Fabrics Review May 2019 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review May 2019 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review May 2019 - 1
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