Gina Barrett has provided reconstructions of narrow wares, passementerie and costume accessories for theatre, film, museums, costumiers and private individuals since 1999. She has also provided modern trimmings using traditional techniques for designers and artists (both clothing and interior).
She is the author of Buttons: A Passementerie Workshop Manual, Ganutell Country Flowers Handbook and the Making Passementerie range of instructional DVDs.
Gina is the contributor for the Passementerie entry in the Encyclopaedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles c. 450-1450 (Brill). She has also co-authored Tak V Bowes Departed: A 15th Century Braiding Manual Examined and 6 booklets on medieval narrow wares, and regularly produces how-to articles for magazines, as well as papers and essays on other forms of passementerie.
She enjoys working on the recreation and reconstruction of the passementerie techniques of the past which has included most periods, from Anglo-Saxon brocade tablet weaving to Victorian dress trimmings. Always up for a challenge, she enjoys collecting images of extant buttons and trimmings and trying to work out how they may have been made. Work of this nature means that she has uncovered many of the secrets of passementerie – though she still feels that she has a lot to discover!
She has been involved in textile research projects with groups around the world, and is a founder member of Soper Lane, a group begun in 1999 to research the lives and work of the medieval London silkwomen. She often holds workshops and demonstrations to pass on the techniques to others.
Gina is a trained illustrator, with a background in historical and diagram illustration and graphic design. Her passion for textiles grew from studying historical costume for her illustrative work. She is a partner in Gina-B Silkworks, a company that seeks to bring traditional textile crafts and techniques to a modern audience. She regularly appears on the create & craft channel with demonstrations of passementerie techniques. She is married, with one cuddly cat and one lovely dog.
Please use the contact form if you would like to get in touch with Gina regarding writing or other commissions / projects.
Previous clients include: Henry Poole & Co, Hawthorne & Heaney, Gabriele Mendela (Costumier), Prior Attire(Costumier), Ninya Mikhaila Historical Costumier, The Tudor Tailor, Dover Castle, Luton Museum, Dombey Street Productions (Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd), Noseley Hall, The Globe Theatre, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Perth Museum & Art Gallery, The Royal Amoury, Leeds, Suzi Clarke (Costumier), Gary Smedley, Harman Hay, Harriet Waterhouse (Costumier), Chimera Costumes and numerous private individuals.