Crafting has been making a come back over the last decade or so, largely due to our increasing desire to disconnect from technology and reconnect with the mindful act of creating with our hands.
This desire is something Caitlin Tubb knew all too well as she started her rather cheeky embroidery business Not Ya Nan’s Embroidery. A curvaceous bottom or perky breast may not be the sort of subject matter you would typically see embroidered into an artwork but it is undeniably fun and provoking.
We caught up with her to find out just what made her pick up the needle.
Leiden: How did Not Ya Nan’s Embroidery get started?
Caitlin: I originally started doing Cross Stitch late last year for Christmas presents (a very cheap option for a Uni student) which lead to me experimenting with some embroidery. I prefer embroidery as it allows a lot more creativity in designs with different stitches and fabrics. I started Not Ya Nan’s Embroidery for a couple of reasons really, firstly I love doing embroidery and having a shop gives me a reason to be able to embroider all day, also I wanted to expand the number of designs I had and find them perfect homes to go to. I love making custom designs that somebody else will appreciate just as much.
L: What’s the story behind the name?
C: Whenever I tell people I enjoy doing embroidery they are slightly confused, imagining great tapestries of fruit bowls and country scenes, however their attitude changes when I show them the pieces I have made. Not Ya Nan’s Embroidery explains exactly what I do, embroidery pieces that go against the stereotype. They are classy, sexy and fun.
L: What drew you to exploring erotic and sensual imagery?
C: I have been following some erotic artists on Instagram for quite some time now and have always admired their illustrations for being a little provocative and exciting. I was after a new embroidery project and had become slightly tired of text and flowers so I thought I might try something more risqué. I loved doing my first ‘Touch’ and it spurred me on to do more. I have been fortunate enough to get in touch with Thai artist No Word For This who has allowed me to embroider their erotic illustration, something I’m very excited about and I hope to collaborate with more artists as well as do more of my own designs as time goes on.
L: What inspires each of your designs?
C: Mostly I am inspired by simple single line outlines, I love how quickly they come together and what an impact a simple design can have. I go through phases with designs as well. Originally I was fascinated by the curvature of butts and the intimacy of the touch between couples. More recently I have been inspired by hands and how intimate handholding can be. I’m also very excited to turn more of No Word For This’ illustrations into embroidery pieces in the very near future. A lot of them also come about from daydreaming about how different fabrics and threads may look together.
L: Tell us a little about the process of making a piece.
C: As soon as I get an idea I have to get it out onto fabric, which results in a lot of experimentation, however I’m far more measured when creating orders. I take time to choose the right fabric for each piece, some designs require plainer material or it may look too busy, next I draw it up, sometimes this is easy other times I might redraw the same leg for an hour. The actual stitching is the most relaxing and rewarding part, slowly seeing the design come to life. All pieces are then backed with felt and sent to their new homes.
L: How would you like to see your business grow?
C: At the moment I’m still learning all the ins and outs of having a small Etsy shop which is really interesting. I have no experience in marketing or business so it’s been a learning curve but I’ve had some wonderful support. I have a lot of ideas for different designs as well as different mediums, which would see the pieces available in the shop, grow substantially. I would also love to work with more erotic artists to transform their illustrations into fibre art. I also aim to work on more new commissioned pieces.