Pemberton textile designer Frances Dickinson always knew she would use her love of creating fabrics to make fashion. After years of traveling the globe and becoming awakened to the cultural heritages of historical textiles, she toured three different Canadian Art Schools over a five-year span before getting her BFA with distinction in textile design from the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary. In 2002 she came home to Vancouver and began her business designing fabrics, which she incorporates into wearables.
Felt became her main inspiration as she began designing shawls, capes and accessories. Its uniqueness enabled her to achieve the creative difference that she was looking for to set her apart amongst Canadian designers.
Allowing the medium to speak for itself is a prime design motivator for her collection. “I have always enjoyed combining contrasting textures to create intimate surfaces for the eyes to feast upon. My line of shawls combines the lightness of silk chiffon and the warmth and density of wool felt. The imagery is graphically based nestling bold designs within subtle textures and tones. Thru the felt process and the seemingly random surface design, my work is based in a technique that is very much grounded in a hands-on philosophy. This allows me to maintain a unique, one-of-a-kind approach in all my pieces”
As the felt is all hand dyed and hand felted, she cannot know exactly what the felt will look like until it is completed. The design begins 3-dimensionally but finish 2-dimensionally through the rubbing and rolling of the materials. The wools and silks fuse together creating textures and colours that seem quite random yet hang in harmony and balance. It is her partnership with the medium that keeps moving her designs forward. Today she produces and sells her work out of home in beautiful Pemberton, BC.