An investigation into passementerie : a focused study of the tassel to establish a rigorous compilation of definitions and classifications, leading to a personal creative exploration
The research programme undertaken had three purposes; to define what a tassel
is, to investigate the techniques used in their creation, and to produce a body of
work based on my findings.
The constituent elements of the tassel form were explored through the
observation and documentation of extant examples from the 16th Century to the
present, and a series of standards was established, defining the tassel. The
visual characteristics of the tassel were analysed, which ultimately produced a
classification; extending the language of the tassel and thus our understanding of
its form. Through the use of the classification a body of work was produced,
which, through a personal interpretation, further extends the established
language of the tassel form. All of the strands of research complement one
another, but can also stand alone in their documentation of process and result.
A tangible outcome was achieved through the creative exploration of questions
which arose during initial investigations; these were documented both in terms of
their construction method, and in the relevance of their form to the research
The decisions undertaken in the creative process were of major importance to
this programme, as an appropriate methodology was devised. As a result of
reassessments made, the programme became more focussed and a body of
high quality work was produced. The future development of this area of textile
design will be aided by the research work I have undertaken, as it has laid the
foundation for innovative interpretations of the tassel.