Friday, 8 May 2015

Cotton Commission for Sunspel Finished

I was burning the midnight oil last night as I tried to get the cotton commission for Memorandum Journal finished. It fell into two parts - the first was the botanical side of things and I managed to finish that a few weeks ago, but the second part was delayed because the materials I needed to work from got lost in the post.  C'est la vie!

Sunspel Garments in the post - this is the nightgown that I really wanted to keep!

Thankfully they arrived on Tuesday afternoon and the design company (A Practice For Everyday Life) moved the deadline for me to compensate for lost time - thank you APFEL! As I opened the box, I found some sheets of archival cotton samples along with four beautifully made garments by Sunspel. They were so soft and divine to touch. I thought about the queen and decided that she must have a night dress made of this material. 

Processing of cotton

Anyway, I had planned to get cracking on with it on Wednesday and Thursday, only a lot of Wednesday was filled with trying to get an identity number in Spain. In Spain most people need an NIE. As I understand it, it is a personal number that is used for pretty much every legal transaction in the country. Therefore, you'd need it to open a bank account or to buy a car for example. I know this, because these are the things I am trying to do. So in order to have an NIE you need a letter from the bank saying that they are happy to open a bank account for you once you have the NIE. Problem is, Santander (and probably most banks in the city) didn't want to give me this letter because: 

a) I didn't have an NIE  
b) I am self employed 
c) I am a non-resident. 

So bit of a catch 22 there... Luckily the bank in the village was more amenable than the city banks and I now have a non-resident bank account, which means I can now get my NIE.

Illustrations of their cotton samples magnified 

Illustrations of their cotton samples magnified 

Illustrations of the gown at different levels of magnification 

Illustrations of the gown at different levels of magnification 

A few words on cotton

So with all this kerfuffle, I had little time left to complete the second half of the job, which was to illustrate the weave of thread in the samples. Tricky work indeed, but I managed to complete it at around midnight. Right, time for a beer!


  1. This looks good Jess

    What a wide variety you seem to be including here, not just with subject matter. The earlier stages you posted also, were most interesting and attractive. How lucky the commissioners will be, not just here but with the Vicia too - but then you were largely back into your 'green' comfort zone. That's not being disrespectful or suggesting that the green is 'easy' - just that your talent in the green zone is becoming widely acknowledged in the profession.

    Do the greens, against the arid scrub of Spain, take on a different hue to the green green grass of home?

    1. Thank you Chris for your kind comments. The greens are certainly different here, they have less pink/red/purple in them and more orange or blue. The blue has changed too, to cerulean and phthalo rather than cobalt or ultra marine. Interestingly, iron is a common deficiency in plants over here. The gardeners and farmers frequently have to add iron to the soil. I wonder if this changes the colour slightly, or if its more due to the amount of chlorophyll required. It's damn hot here today, a high of 39 degrees. My midday walks are now a thing of the past and a parasol has rapidly become an essential tool.