Kate VM Sylvester
In Every Tee, 2019
De-threaded recycled cotton blend t-shirt
Image: Keith Maxwell
Sylvester’s technique of de-threading recycled t-shirts reveals the masses of material used in a single garment. This revelation creates a new opportunity to view an iconic item of clothing with an analytical perspective. The transformation from fashion wear to soft sculpture satisfies our instinctual curiosity regarding the construction of materials and how they are made to function.
Meticulously de-threaded by hand, the deconstructed t-shirt fabric is seemingly fragile. The intricate webbing of warp and wheft within the construction of the weave has surprising capacity for manipulation. The volume of material used enables insight and consideration to the social, political and environmental issues associated with fast fashion in a throw away society. The de-threaded weave reveals patterns that are sacred, pertaining to universal principles of construction and chaos. By dissecting and manipulating the material used in an iconic, globally recognised item of clothing, Sylvester enables a fresh perspective that reminds us to consider the potential, the beauty and impact of the materials we take for granted.