Embracing Textile Innovation

Lynne Bruning - Photographer: Carl Snider
Model: Ellyette - Photographer: Carl Snider

While joining in the conversation on twitter, I had the pleasure of interacting with one of the most innovative textile designers I have come across in a while, Lynne Bruning.   While she currently uses her textiles to create her own fashions, she is kicking around the idea of making her textile designs available to other industry professionals, which is one of the reasons I thought I would introduce you to her work.  Have an idea for a project? Go ahead, email her. I bet she’d love to hear what you have in mind and maybe, if you’re lucky, she’ll be interested in collaborating.

1. How did you get introduced to textiles?
I remember when I was four years, old sitting on my grandmother’s lap in front of the sewing machine. She worked the machine pedal while expertly guiding my fingers as we sewed a quilt for my dolls crib. I still have this very important and sentimental piece of art in my personal collection.

2.What fibers to you tend to use most often?
Although I like to experiment with untraditional materials such as survory’s string and electronics, I tend to use natural fibers of silk, wool and cotton as my base.

3. I know you are a weaver but do you ever experiment with knits or prints?
I love prints and tend to cut them on the bias such as this piece:

I am only just beginning to experiment in creating knits and am looking forward to what I can make on the home version knitting machines.

Lynne Bruning - Photographer: Lynne Bruning
HippiePunk Love

4. What kind of looms do you work on?
I decide what I want to create and then pick my loom accordingly. I currently have an 8 shaft Louet countermarch loom and 4 shaft LeCleric jack loom.

5. As best as possible, describe your creative process.
I do lots of research and keep folders of ideas and inspirations. I generally do not ‘know’ the final project, but let it evolve through my research and encounters as I draft, sew, weave, design and product test. Sometimes a project starts because of a personal interaction – “Bats Have Feelings Too!” evolved from a conversation I had with a little girl at Denver’s Anchor School for the Blind. While my latest #nextbigproject, a garment for an autistic child, came about due to following a Twitter thread.

6. Your work is so unique. What kind of outlets do you use to sell your work to the public
This is my biggest challenge! I have been trying to break into the stage and rockstar arena but have not made the right connections. Perhaps your readers have some ideas, leads to share?

7. What is the most memorable and exciting project or piece you have created? Why?
I tend to fall in love with my hardest projects. The challenges of learning a new technique, sourcing new materials and watching the piece come together the very first time is addicitvely enchanting.

HippiePunk Love was my first eTextile project using conductive thread and LEDs I opened new doors into the exciting world of interactive design and adaptive technology.

Lynne Bruning - Photographer: Carl Snider
DayGlo Weave

DayGlo Weavewas the very first time I wove cloth yardage to make a dress, the first time I wove with surveyors string and my first international wearable art show! To this day this is still my favorite dress.

8. What direction do you see your work heading in the near and not-so-near future?

Deep down I am someone that believes in helping others and making the world a better place. I do this by teaching and by creating items that are not only beautiful, but also functional. I am extremely fortunate that I can fuse my educational background in neuroscience and architecture with my knowledge of textiles and fashion to create adaptive technology projects such as “Bats Have Feelings Too!: a wearable cane” and the soon to be released project “The Familiar: a whispering cloak” On the flipside – I also enjoy creating outrageous, flamboyant wearable art and egowear for stage and the ‘rockstar’ lifestyle.

Thanks Lynne for a great interview!

Nicole Giordano

Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online resource and community supporting for independent designers around the world with building their businesses. A deep love for the craft of fashion paired with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION, where she helps independent designers and makers screw the traditional fashion business rules, create their own paths, and build businesses they truly love. More than anything else, she’s in the business of encouragement and works every day to remind makers and designers that they have something special to offer the world and that they can, in fact, do this thing!

  1. Nicole

    Hi Leisa,
    Thanks for your insight! I agree, her work is like nothing I’ve come across before. I am interested in seeing what kind of innovative fashions can come out of her collaborations with other designers!

  2. Leisa Rich

    A nice little overview of a much larger-than-life talent! I haven’t met Lynne personally, but through our communication from Linkedin and via email, I am starting to have an even greater appreciation for her creativity, foresight and talent. Hopefully, Lynne and I will collaborate soon…in the meantime, I will tap into a couple of my Hollywood connections to see if I know someone who knows someone who knows someone who can open some doors for Lynne! Keep “lighting up” textiles, Lynne!

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