Blue Wrap Project - Earth Day 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Fashion Design and Retailing Program at Framingham State University recently hosted a design competition. The goal was to recycle "Blue Wrap", a highly durable polypropylene fabric used to wrap all medical supplies and instruments. The Blue Wrap was donated by Metro West Medical Center in Framingham.

Faculty, staff, and students were encouraged to design fashion garments and accessories that used Blue Wrap in a creative way. Basic sewing materials were allowed, but were not permitted to exceed 25% of the garment.

Ahhh, so what to do, what to do????

I love bags and purses, so I started my experiments with Blue Wrap by making a simple tote. I embellished it with a fabric yo-yo, a matching button and a tie so that the bag can be carried conveniently.



It turned out to be fairly easy to work with Blue Wrap, so I next designed a zippered makeup bag. Inspired by a dress I had seen at the mall, I put a fabric bow on the outside. I think it works much better on the bag than it did on the dress! The bag measures 6" x 5".





Blue Wrap was easy to manipulate and sew, but wrinkles in the fabric are impossible to remove because the fabric melts when ironed. It occurred to me that I could make yarn from the Blue Wrap in the same way I made "plarn" from plastic grocery bags (see my Plarn Gift Bag post). Blue Wrap came as a tube (two sheets were fused together on opposite edges) and I was able to cut a continuous 1/2" strip to get a nice large ball of "blarn".

After I had the Blue Wrap in yarn form, it was just a matter of playing around with it and knitting needles to see what would develop.

I had a shopping tote and a makeup bag so why not make a purse to put them in? The purse was knit with 54 stitches on size 11 circular needles and measured 10" x 9" (not including handles). The body of the bag was stockinette stitch and the top band was garter stitch. Decorative tabs on the surface of the purse came from the fused ends of the Blue Wrap, which left flaps in the yarn as it was cut. Initially, I was pushing them to the inside, but I liked the texture, so I brought them to the front.


All of the designs were showcased at Framingham State's Earth Day Festival 2012 and will go on a local exhibition tour during the summer. This was a fun design project that had a community feel and a "make it work" attitude that was relevant to an important environmental issue.

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